people | aya koike’s soft brick

by Di White

Designer AYA KOIKE developed Soft Brick, an ecological cork tile produced by NAGAYANAGI.  This tile is made of loose wine cork shavings.  You can line floors, walls and fittings with these tiles to transform areas that once were dead spaces into soft warm sofa areas.  Designed to invoke a traditional sofa motif, applications range from transforming bedroom walls into headboards, to lining hospital wards and children’s facilities as Cork is also an excellent material for absorbing sound, insulating rooms and fire retardant.

What is your favorite product at the moment & why?
I love many good designs, one of them is a cork wine stopper.  The reason why I admire this product is that it shows me an answer of “what is the best solution by designing.”  The design is simple but beautiful with its natural texture which gives the user warm feeling.

The material is recyclable, reusable and harmless.  The construction form is minimum but the function is maximum.  Its simpleness stimulates our imagination and it is a popular materials for DIY.

I have received an offer of a pile of the cork wine stoppers from the manufacturer of SOFA BRICK, so I am trying to design a new product from these stoppers.

What are you working on now?
Regarding the cork products, I am currently developing 4-5 products with the manufacturer of SOFA BRICK.  The photos attached show some prototypes of the cork containers which were inspired by a Christmas tree. You can decorate it with colourful pins like a real Christmas tree. I hope I can release it before Christmas.

What do you plan for the future?
Personally, I have just moved to Indonesia with my family in this September. I am very much interested in studying the local materials and techniques, arts and crafts, I’m especially interested in rattan.

I also joined the international school here as a mother of two little children. This circumstance teaches me a lot of things – children’s world is full of colour and filled with fun.  As a Japanese, I prefer simple, minimum and stoic style, but children teach me how a life is enjoyable.  Now, my design is getting playful senses – I want to give a smile to the user.  Actually I am recently designing toys and furniture for children.

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Size                    approximately W100/L213/D20mm
Materials         cork gain (shavings of cork stopper) w/non toxic urethane binder
Colour               natural, brown, white, green
Designer           Aya Koike
Manufacturer Nagayanagi
How to order    email Aya Koike
Installation      adhesive or double-sides tape for wood

Aya Kaike
Japan, Indonesia


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