Look closely and the Omotenasino Otomo don’t really look like paper plates. They look almost like plastic or melamine, with how incredibly glossy and opaque they are. The texture makes them almost look like cast iron, I’d say… but these plates aren’t made of any of those materials. They are, in fact, paper.
Japan’s fascination with paper spans over a millennium, with the introduction of Washi paper in 610 AD. It’s seen itself embedded in Japan’s culture, with its most popular use being in Origami, or the art of paper folding. The Omotenasino Otomo employ an Origami-esque pattern, and their innovation lies in the treatment of the paper, which makes it washable and reusable. This incredible ability comes from the design company Otomoshikki’s specialty lacquer, which allows the paper to turn into a stiff, waterproof, grease-proof, infinitely reusable material, almost perfect for utensils… and not just plates, spoons too!
The Omotenasino Otomo is a winner of the Design Intelligence Award for the year 2019.