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Papilio Shell Outdoor

c. 2016

by Naoto Fukasawa
for B&B Italia Outdoor

Papilio Shell Outdoor

by Naoto Fukasawa
for B&B Italia Outdoor

or Call to Order

Butter­flies inspired the name and shape of The Papilio Shell: Japan­ese designer, Naoto Fuka­sawa, took the light­ness of nature and turned it into a chair. The resem­blance is clear in the shape of the back­rest, which looks like the multi­col­ored wings of a butter­fly unfolded to launch into flight.

The Papilio Shell Chair was created for indoors. Its curves and conical struc­ture, from its swivel base to the zip that allows it to wear high fashion: lots of stylish details have made this piece a design icon. 

The outdoor version is a sculp­ture in a single mate­r­ial: woven poly­eth­yl­ene fibre in char­coal. It is even lighter weight, with its aluminum struc­ture. However, it main­tains the great comfort and partic­u­lar organic shape that made the series (armchairs, sofas, chairs) a contemporary icon.

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Naoto Fukasawa

Japan (1956)

Japanese industrial design icon Naoto Fukasawa is known for work that is simultaneously sculptural and functional. From CD players, cell phones, and electrical appliances, to furniture for sitting, sleeping and eating, Fukasawa’s work is always museum-quality. In fact, a wall-mounted CD player he designed for Muji is part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Inspired by the outline and the shape of a volume or item, he looks for inspiration in the subconscious thoughts that humans have about objects.

Fukasawa has immersed himself in the electronics world since the beginning of his career, at Seiko Epson in Japan, where he designed products such as wrist TVs and mini printers. He also spent time in the U.S. working with companies in Silicon Valley, and was involved in the development of a design concept for Apple. He continued to dream up technological products when he returned to Japan, while at the same time taking on impressive furniture collaborations that quickly made him a household name in the industry. As a furniture designer, he has collaborated on award-winning pieces for B&B Italia, Driade, Magis, Artemide, Danese, Boffi, and more. Works like the Piccola Papilio lounge for B&B Italia reveal Fukasawa’s energetic approach to minimalism. The chair’s enveloping form is utterly simplistic and captivatingly artful at the same time.

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