image courtesy Kokuyo | click images to enlarge

Since 2002, Kokuyo, purveyor of fine stationary supplies, has hosted an annual design award with varying themes. It’s actually one of my favorite awards in Japan and has produced some fantastic products, as well as some awesome prototypes. The awards were unfortunately postponed 2 years in a row, presumably due to the economy (the same thing happened to the MUJI awards). But Kokuyo has reignited their commitment to good design by crowd-sourcing talent from the community. The 2011 Kokuyo Design Awards were announced last week and the grand prize went to Roll Table, a clever reinterpretation of your standard children’s coloring pad.

Image courtesy Kokuyo

Inspired by memories of scribbling on tables and floors, the piece was designed by Kobe Ishou Sourenjo (神戸意匠操練所), a Kobe-based group of 3 young designers. The genius of Roll Table lies in its ability to transform a roll of paper into an actual drawing table. I know it sound simple, but indulge me. While many art easels come with a roll of paper, it’s hidden from sight. By bringing it to the foreground and making the infinite qualities of a roll of paper more salient and perceptible – not to mention interactive! – Roll Paper manages to imbed a new dynamic into the act of drawing. I want!

Image courtesy Office Magazine