Materials & Surfaces

Have you ever dreamed of being surrounded by a forest and its landscape?

A unique piece of forest can now be taken home thanks to a new material that a designer has experimented with.

Breathing the forest next door. The Japanese designer Yuma Kano, known for his experimental approach and prototyping-oriented process, is introducing ForestBank. It is a new revolutionary design material that defies simple classification as timber, but rather aims to encapsulate the entire spectrum of the forest’s diversity and richness through its aesthetics.

ForestBank investigates the issues and possibilities related to forests and forestry, and diverges from conventional timber production. It manages to replicate the intricate variety of forests through experimentation and material development.

ForestBank by Yuma Kano for BAUM
ForestBank by Yuma Kano for BAUM

These products are made of small branches and saplings, foliage, bark, seeds, soil and other elements typically discarded from construction or furniture making. These elements are blended with a 100% water-based acrylic resin, free from reactive mineral bases, organic solvents, or volatile organic compounds.

By reshaping seemingly worthless forest materials, the designer gives them a new value. The resulting material exhibits different patterns that create a unique design just like the grain of the wood. The diversity of patterns is intensified by the different seasons in which the materials are collected, the type of soil and other forest conditions at the time of harvesting.

ForestBank by Yuma Kano for BAUM

The trees produce the distinctive yellow and green colours of “ForestBank” which are also influenced by the bacteria that are naturally present in the environment. As the season changes, the green leaves, mixed in the materials, change their colours to orange and brown. A darker colour can be achieved by adding soil from the forest floor. In this material one can also observe patterns formed by the path of roots and seeds that are normally hidden underground. This project highlights the importance of a deep knowledge of the forests’ environment, including the variety of colours that different species of trees take on.

ForestBank gives a brand new perspective to wood which acquires new features, and peculiarities to the whole forest. This material can be shaped with ordinary woodworking methods and can be applied in various fields such as furniture or decorating interiors, creating genuine works of art. Indeed, objects made of this material are unique pieces, each pattern is unrepeatable and cannot be achieved by mass production.

ForestBank by Yuma Kano for BAUM

ForestBank material isn’t only made by forests debris but also by pruned branches, by gardening materials from parks, or by the waste of carpentry workshops. Pieces of work from these materials are taken from different factories and workshops that discard them. As a result, the furniture pieces are one-of-a-kind, repurposing wood with significant care. ForestBank is an opportunity to rediscover the beauty of nature through original patterns that tell a unique story.

The Japanese skin and mind brand BAUM which is particularly sensitive to the care and protection of trees, almost naturally counted on an effective collaboration with the designer Yuma Kano. The resulting project of this cooperation has been a creative space provided with furniture made of ForestBank by giving the sense of “touching the forest” and by evoking the atmosphere in a forest within the store space.

ForestBank by Yuma Kano for BAUM

Both, BAUM and Yuma Kano created a space similar to a real forest, where visitors can feel “the breath and circulation of life through visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory elements” as the designer himself said. Mainly oak saplings are cultivated in the store. Baum’s oak forest waste was directly incorporated into the material to create the interiors.

Custom-made materials, including wall tiles and fixture countertops, are utilized to maximize space efficiency within the store while enhancing the sensory experience for customers.

ForestBank by Yuma Kano for BAUM

ForestBank, aligning with BAUM’s ethics of coexistence between trees and circular thinking, gives the opportunity to discover the inner beauty of nature through original patterns that tell a unique story.


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