The art of manipulating wood can be traced back centuries ago when even stone was being manipulated to have more flexible properties. Last year, designer Elisa Strozyk created a range of household goods that are “half wood-half textile, between hard and soft, challenging what can be expected from a material or category. It looks and smells familiar but feels strange, as it is able to move and form in unexpected ways.” Perhaps it was from this description that inspired the Italian interaction design firm MammaFotogramma to create ‘Woodskin’ for interior and exterior architectural and interior design applications. So what is it?

Woodskin: Rethink Your Way to Design Wood

Starting as an entry into an open-source design competition to be a part of the lobby of an indoor rock climbing gym in Montreal, the team behind Woodskin invented the entire process on-site as they experimented with the hybrid material production process.

“At that time we were looking for a solution that would fulfill our need to create complex shapes, every time different, based on a standard, but also ready to evolve in a smart, fluid, connecting system…What we created was a skin that would allow us to focus on the structure and would adapt to it, leaving the builder the total control with the flexibility to change the forms at any moment during the whole process.”
-Giulio Masotti, co-designer









The final material structure is made from a combination of Russian plywood and vinyl mesh (imagine a sheet of tiles) that is CNC-routed as a pattern of triangles similar to what you might expect in a 1960’s vision of a futuristic interior. The space between the rigid wood pieces provide the ‘flex’ of the skin. Due to its flexible nature it is extremely malleable and can be mounted just like any other wood component, assuming that the flexed design can be aligned with a mate.

The project for the indoor rock climbing gym lobby was the team’s first, and consists of 15,000 triangles to create a somewhat polyhedral interpretation of a boulder for the front desk of the rock gym’s lobby:








Interested in some Woodskin for your next project?:

Woodskin® is available in, modular, sheets or rolls, easy to transport and joinable, so to obtain continuous surfaces, even of large dimensions.

The Woodskin system can be used for its high formal and aesthetic value as coating or finishing, easy to be used again in projects with great complexity of shapes. Can also be used for both interior and outdoor designs.

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Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.