Sandwich board changes shape under weight of objects

Japanese designer Taijiro Ishiko used a sandwich material of wood and silicone rubber called Stretch Board, which is laser-cut to changes form according to the shape and weight of the placed objects.

The material consists of two layers of plywood with in between a layer of flexible silicone rubber. The wooden layers are laser-cut in various shapes, but because silicone rubber has a high-heat resistance, this layer remains intact.

Ishiko used the material to make a tray, a shelf, an open cabinet and even a bench. When nothing is placed upon the surface, it remains flat. However, when something is put on top of it, the surface begins to dip, like a piece of fabric would.

“By adding advanced manufacturing technology to a rather simple material composition, a new material takes shape and function – with endless possibilities to influence in patterns, colours and final use as a designed object,” Ishiko states.

Aside from aesthetics and just plain fun, the dipping prevents round objects from rolling off the shelf. The surface of the tray is flat when put down, but has a slightly raised edge when carrier around, preventing the load from sliding off. In the case of the bench, the laser-cut pattern provides cushioning rather than you having to sit on a hard wooden surface.

The project was one of the 100 best projects in the Design Intelligence Award 2018.

Photos: Tomomi Takano