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Papilio Shell

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Papilio Shell

Naoto Fukasawa



Forming part of the iconic seating collection of the same name, the Papilio Shell chair comes either with a shell entirely in polypropylene or with a polypropylene shell padded and covered in fabric or leather. The base comes in several versions: with four steel or wooden legs, with a swivel four-spoke frame, or with a fixed four-spoke frame with wheels. The shape of the back of Papilio Shell calls to mind the multicoloured wings of a butterfly ready to take flight. It is this detail that inspired the name, “papilio” being the Latin term for butterfly.


The name and shape are inspired by the butterfly, which translated into Latin is "papillio". The Japanese designer took the lightness of nature and transformed it into a light, colourful poetic chair. The shape of the backs are similar in all these products, like multi-coloured butterfly wings opening up to take flight.

Technical information


Shell upholstery (SH1I-SH2I-SH3I-SH4I)
Bayfit® flexible cold shaped polyurethane foam

Support frame (SH1-SH1I) 
steel profiles

Legs (SH2-SH2I) 
solid wood

Support frame (SH3-SH3I-SH4-SH4I)
die-cast aluminium

Wheels (SH3-SH3I) 
plastic material for soft or hard surfaces

Double-side ferrules (SH1-SH1I-SH2-SH2I)
plastic material/felt

Double ferrules (SH4-SH4I) 
felt or plastic material

fabric or Gamma leather


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Naoto Fukasawa

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.

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