A chair and stool in two heights, Papilio can be used in formal contexts, while also allowing for a more informal use by leaning on one of the back’s “wings”, inspired by those of a butterfly (or “Papilio” in Latin). The formal balance derives from the constant thickness of the shell and from the shape of the seat, which is sinuous in the upper part and then merges with the light steel frame. Upholstered in either leather or fabric, Papilio’s cover can be removed using a metal zipper on the back, a functional and decorative detail that characterises the entire line of chairs of the same name.
Butterflies in flight. The design image was that of a chair that would "welcome" gracefully - with the graceful movement of a butterfly - which in Latin is called a "papilio". Grande Papilio was designed with fluidity around an upside-down truncated cone. The ample space of its large upper back and the curved shape of its cosy seat are a clear signs of a desire to offer maximum comfort to anyone who wants to sit it this chair. This is a truly iconic product, even though its aesthetics were not a high priority according to the designer. Fukasawa, who puts people's behaviour before an interest for shape, said: “I wanted the chair to look naturally comfortable, to have the same shape that relaxation would have if it were represented by an image." The wings that extend at the sides of the chair emphasise the sensation of comfort: in the chair and the small armchair, they help support the hips and the back; in the Grande Papilio chair and the Love Papilio sofa, they cushion the head to offer isolation and tranquillity. The same spirit of simplicity, immediacy and comfort have guided the functional development of the entire Papilio series: the Grande Papilio and Piccola Papilio armchairs, the chairs Papilio and Mini Papilio, the Love Papilio sofa and the Papilio bed.
thermoplastic material shell
Internal frame upholstery
Bayfit® flexible cold shaped polyurethane foam, polyester fibre cover
tubular steel and steel profiles
fabric or leather in limited categories
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Always devoted to achieving simplicity and beauty, Naoto Fukasawa designs products for numerous internationally prestigious brands, as well as collaborating as designer and consultant for many major Japanese companies. His creativity embraces very different sectors, from precision electronic equipment to furniture and interior design.
In his career as designer he has received important awards and many of his works are part of the permanent collections of museums such as the MoMa in New York, the Victoria and Albert Musuem in London and the Designmuseum Danmark. In 2007, the UK Royal Society of Arts awarded him the title of Honorable Royal Designer for Industry. In 2017, he became a member of the Loewe Craft Prize jury. He is a professor in the Integrated Design department at Tama Art University. In 2006, he established the “Super Normal” project with Jasper Morrison.
Since 2021 he is curator of The Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo. Fukasawa has co-authored with the photographer Tamotsu Fujii the volume The Outline -The Unseen Outline of Things, published by Hachette Fujingaho, and released the book Naoto Fukasawa published by Phaidon Press. In Spring 2018, he released his second book with Phaidon Press Naoto Fukasawa: Embodiment.