Paper is a minimalist furniture collection created by London-based designer David Horan for Béton Brut. Inspired by the French decoupage craft and Japanese Mingei movement, Horan has created a stunning collection of seating, a coffee table, and lighting by layering handmade Japanese paper, which forms a new applied vegan vellum. The geometries of Paper are as precise as they are architectonic, containing a harmony in ratio that evokes Deco and Classical styles. The creation of the Paper collection was a result of rigorous material experimentation in Horan’s London workshop, where he employed de-composition and re-composition methods. For the Vellum coffee table, lights, and lounge chairs, Horan experimented with a combination of Kozuki-Mingeshi paper, which he either lacquered to a mirror finish or sealed with a matte finish.

Meanwhile, the “Dragon Skin” armchairs and daybed were left raw to the eye, made from vintage Sekishu, a Unesco-heritage kozo that Horan reclaimed from the giant dragons of the Kagura dance-theatre. To source the washi, Horan collaborated with Mineo Kato from Japan Fine Papers in Hackney, and from the discards of the dragon’s Orochi-gami skin, the remnants are restored piece-by-piece by the workshop of Kajigase Takashi before Horan takes it through a final metamorphosis. Horan’s work is an exquisite expression of the potential of the traditional crafts and techniques from around the world. The Paper collection not only showcases Horan’s creativity but also his deep respect for the materials and their origins.

Photography by Genevieve Lutkin