Through a solid three years of experimentation and tinkering, Yusuke Hayashi and Yoko Yasunishi of Drill Design have arrived at "Paper-Wood" which is now sold as a material used by a range of different designers and companies to make everyday objects (furniture, stationary, garden and kitchen utensils).
According to Yoko, the initial combination they came up with used acrylic and wood but the latest series (four and five) use paper and basswood. Since the colors aren't painted on, the material always retains its bright colors, even when it wears down. When I asked what kind of paper they use, I was quietly told it's a 'company secret.'
"...the first two years we experimented in workshops to find out what materials, colors and combinations worked best... we wanted to explore the concept of adding things to wood to make new kinds of 'layer cake' materials," explains Yoko. Look closely at a slice of Paper-Wood and you can clearly see the "layer cake" she's talking about—each layer alternates between, well, paper and wood.
Many of Drill Design's early creations are currently being exhibited at DesignTide, including the 'Paper-Wood STOOL' (2009) and the more recent 'Paper-Wood TREE' and 'Paper-Wood HORSE' (2011). From a distance the horse looks like it's made from a smooth pale wood, but get up close and you can see the sandwiched layers of colorful paper. This adds a particularly nice touch in the cute Christmas tree toy with a design that alternates wood with blue/green or red/orange paper in each of the detachable parts.
As winners of a Good Design (2010) and Red Dot Award (product design 2012), I'm curious to see where Yoko and Yusuke`s Paper-Wood will go next.