#21 - Working Wood

Milan Years with Japanese Designers at YOY

The play element is not a product of culture. It is rather the source of culture.” Dutch philosopher and historian Johan Huizinga in his book Homo Ludens (1938).

The Japanese design duo that launched YOY in 2011 follows this philosophy to the T. A year later they introduced their PEEL lamp, an illusion that the wallpaper is peeling off in the corner and revealing another dimension. The team attached an ultra-thin OLED light to a Plexiglas-type mold and hooked it to the corner of the wall.

Peel Lamp

ArchiExpo air-sat on the playful Canvas Furniture at designjunction Milan in 2014, the same year that YOY presented a lamp that projects the shape of a shade onto a wall and a rug that curves up into a chair—two amazing and fun objects. Last year in Milan, they formed the minimal and luminous Poster lamp using a sheet of A2 paper with a LED light hid inside.

Poster Lamp

Milan Design Week 2016: YOY held its first solo exhibition, called In-Between, at Opificio 31 in Tortona. Here it debuted their lantern Depth, a light that plays with the sense of depth. A transparent sheet behind the photo masks the light, a light-guiding panel and a LED. The framed artwork appears 2-D and either hangs on or is propped against a wall. When it lights up, its ‘3-D form’ comes into play.

Another work called Cutout, a chair that seems to have been cut out of a sheet of steel, accompanied the lantern at the exhibition.


Launched by spatial designer Naoki Ono and product designer Yuki Yamamoto, the Tokyo-based studio aims to create original tales between space and objects.

About the Author

American artist Erin Tallman is a journalist for various online publications and is the Editor in Chief of AgriExpo e-magazine and ArchiExpo e-magazine. She has published three books, including her first novel.

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