The Language of Trees by Sonia Rentsch
Paul Barbera The Language of Trees by Sonia Rentsch

In early March at the BDDW showroom in New York City, composer, musician, and founder of the forest conservation organization More Trees Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Japanese architect Kengo Kuma hosted the official U.S. launch of their Japanese cedar wood building blocks, Tsumiki.

V-shaped with notched ends, the unique wooden blocks are manufactured using Forest Stewardship Council–certified cedar and can be combined or stacked to create different interpretations of sculptures or pavilions. Besides emphasizing imagination, Sakamoto describes the blocks as a productive use of wood and hopes users find a balance between the digital and natural worlds when building with them.

Kuma and three other local designers including design studio Aranda\Lasch, collage artist Nanse Kawashima, and still life artist Sonia Rentsch, each contributed a model using the Tsumiki triangles as part of an exhibition curated by Jenny Nguyen of international communication agency Melting Butter Studios. Their creations were on display at the BDDW showroom from Feb. 28 to March 3 and can be seen below.

The Tower in the Desert by Nanse Kawashima
Paul Barbera The Tower in the Desert by Nanse Kawashima
Cedar Cone by Kengo Kuma
Paul Barbera Cedar Cone by Kengo Kuma
Study of Shingling by Aranda \ Lasch
Paul Barbera Study of Shingling by Aranda \ Lasch