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Honey-Pop Chair, 2001

This is a chair. It was designed by Tokujin Yoshioka. It is dated 2001 and we acquired it in 2008. Its medium is layered paper, partially glued, cut, and fanned-open accordion style; seat compressed by body of designer. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Honey-Pop, along with its children’s version, Baby Honey-Pop, would be the first objects in the collection by the innovative and award-winning designer, Tokujin Yoshioka. Yoshioka first gained recognition for his interiors and installation design, but has since expanded his work to include furniture and lighting design. Yoshioka attended the Kuwasawa Design School, graduating in 1986, and has collaborated with two major 20th-century Japanese designers: Shiro Kuramata and Issey Miyake. In 1988, at the age of 21, Yoshioka was put in charge of Miyake’s shop designs. In 1992, Yoshioka became a freelance designer and established his own studio in 2000. In 2007, he received the Design Miami / Designer of the Year Award, for his technically innovative work, “developing imaginative methods of production completely unique in the field.”
Yoshioka has said that he is “often inspired simply by the desire to use new materials or processes” and does not start with form. The Honey-Pop chair is such an exploration of material. It is made of the tissue-thin glassine honeycomb paper used for Chinese paper lamps. Layers of paper are laid flat, stacked, and a single curved cut is made to shape the back and seat. The form fans out, accordion-style, into a surprisingly strong and durable structure. The final contours of the seat and back are created when the user first sits in the chair, making an imprint of his or her body in the honeycombed surface. Honey-Pop combines standardized manufacturing technique and end-user customization—a growing trend in design.
This piece would be a welcome addition to the museum’s modern and contemporary design collection, and would help expand our holdings of three-dimensional Japanese design. Honey-Pop would also further explore the use of paper as a structural material, most notably documented in our Frank Gehry corrugated cardboard chairs. Given Yoshioka’s experimental and innovative approaches to materials and production techniques, we hope Honey-Pop, together with Baby Honey-Pop, will be the first of his designs to enter the collection.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled A Precious Posterior, Preserved for Posterity.

This object was purchased with funds from: Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer. It is credited Mueum purchase from Friends of Product Design and Decorative Arts Fund through gift of Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 81.3 x 79.1 x 81.3 cm (32 x 31 1/8 x 32 in.)

Cite this object as

Honey-Pop Chair, 2001; Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka (Japanese, b. 1967); Japan; layered paper, partially glued, cut, and fanned-open accordion style; seat compressed by body of designer; H x W x D: 81.3 x 79.1 x 81.3 cm (32 x 31 1/8 x 32 in.); 2008-6-1

We have 1 video that features Honey-Pop Chair, 2001.

Behind the Scenes: The Honey Pop Chair

Conservator Annie Hall & Curator Cindy Trope discuss the Honey Pop chair, its design qualities, and the challenges associated with conserving it.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Honey-Pop Chair, 2001 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=13 February 2016 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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