ISSUE 8  |  Wabi-Sabi Week

Flat Packables from Tokyo

February 21, 2012 7:30 PM

BY Justine Hand

Lightweight and portable, there is poetry and practicality to these plywood accessories made in Japan.

Yu Ito, the designer behind Flat Packables, graduated in industrial design from RISD, and has since made it his mission to use technology more thoughtfully. "As laser-cutting technology became increasingly accessible, I started to see a lot of poorly designed laser-cut products. That inspired me to introduce unique designs that are original in not only appearance but in how they interlock together." Ito's Flat Packables are laser-cut from plywood, then hand-sanded and finished with beeswax. Compactly packed into a custom-designed box for shipping, the pieces are easily assembled into their final 3D form. "I am always interested in designing products that prompt the user to be part of the design process," says Ito.

Above: The Folding Travel Hanger is perfect for planes or hotels (where there never seem to be enough hangers); $16.

Above: Hibachi Tealight Holder; $16.

Above: Hibachi Tealight Holder with a Red Tealight Candle; $16.

Above: The holder and the tealight are packed just so to minimize bulk for shipping.

Above: Packable iPhone Stand; $8.