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OTOTO. Birch plywood furniture inspired by Japanese minimalism

Dobrawa Bies
09 of November '21

Brothers Przemo and Lukasz Metko recently created their first, original OTOTO furniture collection, made entirely of birch plywood. As they say, they discovered their love for wood from an early age, watching their father and grandfather at work in a carpenter's shop. Eventually, they decided to try their hand at it themselves, and that's how they came up with {tag:pracownie} furniture, in the forms of which they combined their passion for Japanese minimalism with a traditional view of wood. The designers themselves talk about their inspiration, work and design.

inspirowany japońskim minimalizmem

ototo in Japanese means younger brother

Photo: Rafał Chojnacki © OTOTO

Dobrawa Bies: Where did the name OTOTO come from? Please tell us about the inspiration and beginnings of the collection.

Przemo and Lukasz Metko: We wanted the name to be simple and at the same time fit the character of our furniture, which from the beginning was supposed to be minimalistic and functional. We were very inspired by Japanese culture, their approach to aesthetics and practicality, so that's where we started looking for a name. Our attention was caught by the word ototo, which from Japanese means younger brother, and it was Lukasz who was the main idea behind the whole project.

Szafka RTV z dwiema
szafkami i dwoma szufladami

RTV cabinet, which can be used, for example, to display a collection of posters

Photo: Rafał Chojnacki © OTOTO

Dobrawa: What does the design work and creation of the collection look like?

Lukasz Metko: Przemek, in addition to OTOTO, at the same time creates the r-m studio together with Marzena, also all the furniture was designed by r-m studio. During the creation of the collection, there are a lot of arrangements regarding the making of the various elements, their visibility, finishing and arrangement. We make a prototype, on which we can assess whether everything is as we planned, or whether some adjustments still need to be made. The moment the result meets our expectations we have a finished piece of furniture.

Mały stolik OTOTO Niska ława OTOTO

all furniture is made of birch plywood

Photo: Rafał Chojnacki © OTOTO

Dobrawa: What kind of furniture is included in the collection? They are all made of birch plywood, did this material dictate their minimalist form?

Lukasz Metko: The collection includes furniture with larger dimensions such as a bed and smaller ones - a stool or a shelf. Besides, the first collection includes: dressers, RTV cabinet, table, bench, and nightstand. We wanted the furniture to match each other in the interior and to be able to be freely combined. Some of them can be used in different ways, as they do not have a specific function assigned to them - OTOTO.08 can be a stool, a bedside table and a plant stand at the same time.


OTOTO.08 can be a stool, a bedside table and a plant stand at the same time

Photo: Rafał Chojnacki © OTOTO

Making them out of plywood was the most important idea. We wanted to show that it is a noble, durable and timeless material and to disenchant its bad reputation, which is still hidden in the consciousness of many people. The form of the furniture is partly due to the characteristic features of the material, as plywood has "two sides", that is, a visible grain pattern and an edge where you can see the thickness of successive boards glued together. This allows the boards to be joined together in different ways and accentuate the divisions or lines characteristic of a piece of furniture. Each board is different, making each piece of furniture unique despite the same form. These natural features of plywood, combined with Marzena and Przemek's search for simple solutions, translated into the final form of the furniture.

Szafka RTV i kot Niski stół

Each board is different, thanks to which also the furniture, despite the same form, differs from each other

Photo: Rafał Chojnacki © OTOTO

Dobrawa: Who is the recipient and user of OTOTO furniture?

Przemo and Lukasz Metko: We created the OTOTO furniture collections for people who appreciate aesthetics, the highest quality and natural materials. The furniture, due to its form and versatility, is easily adaptable to the changes that occur in our homes over time. For example, they can be used both in the living room, bedroom or hallway, depending on what we need at the time.

Wysoka komoda

OTOTO furniture is easily adaptable to change

Photo: Rafał Chojnacki © OTOTO

Dobrawa: Do you think good design can help change lives?

Przemo and Lukasz Metko: Definitely yes, in our opinion it has a significant impact on how we live our daily lives, whether it is our apartment or our workplace, for example. By having items in our surroundings that are thoughtful and functional, we improve not only the interior in which we stay, but also our mental comfort. Timeless form and good quality influence the fact that furniture can stay in our interiors for a long time.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.

Dobrawa Bies

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