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Kumiko (ORE Design + Technology)


Mirror Maze Installation, Manhattan, New York


Michiru Tanaka has released a new product partnering with lighting manufacturer Kaneka to create a stainless steel tile that doubles as both an OLED and a mirror. Tanaka partnered with ORE Design + Technology to design a site-specific “mirror maze” installation, which opened in Manhattan-based Great Jones Studio in June.


Kaneka has developed a series of ultra-thin panels using “OLED” technology, with each panel a razor-thin 1mm thick. Each panel provides 55K of light, emitting no UV rays while generating a wide spectrum of white light. The panels’ innovative technology means they can provide up to 50,000 hours of light – around 10,000 hours longer than standard LED’s.


Composed of magnetically backed modules, the Kumiko tiles are made from reflective steel components forming different designs. The name “Kumiko” is derived from the ancient Japanese woodworking technique of assembling different pieces together without nails, creating unique patterns. The technique is hundreds of years old (600-700 AD) and has been passed down through generations of craftsmen in Japan.


The tiles are designed to snap onto surface-mounted walls as panels, creating tiled pieces that light a room up with diffused light and convert back to a mirror in the absence of lighting, with a thickness of 8.5mm. The tiles can be arranged as singles or components of larger panels in groups of 3, 6 or more.



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