Kirei USA's Kirei Board

December 01, 2006 |

Kirei Board is an engineered panel constructed from the stalks of sorghum (a member of the grass family), which is grown as food in various parts of the world. The reclaimed stalk straw is combined with poplar wood bonding layers and heat-pressed with a nontoxic, water-based polymer-isocyanate adhesive to form the strong, lightweight, and eco-friendly boards.

The engineered boards come in 3x6-foot sheets in 10-, 20-, and 30-mm thicknesses. Intended for interior use, Kirei Board can be used for architectural millwork, cabinetry, wall coverings, furniture, flooring, and countertops, among other projects. The material can be milled using the same standard techniques used for wood-based products, and can be filled, sealed, painted, stained, or varnished using most commercial finishing materials.

Jennifer Siegal, founder and principal of the Office of Mobile Design, Los Angeles, has specified Kirei Board for many projects, most recently in a prefab showcase project in Venice, Calif., where the panels were used as a decorative wall finish. The 12x60-foot steel-frame showcase project was created to showcase the concepts of prefabrication, flexibility, portability, and spaciousness in a compact environment.

Why Jennifer Siegal Specifies Kirei USA's Kirei Board:

“With its mixture of reclaimed sorghum plant stocks and poplar wood, Kirei is a gorgeously textured material. Its ecological consciousness was born out of respect for the Zen simplicity of Japanese carpentry.”

“I often use Kirei as a finish material—similar to the way mid-century modernists used simple raw materials as finishes. At my prefab showcase project in Venice, it is the first material you see when you enter the building. People immediately reach out to touch it when they first see it. I love that reaction.”


Jennifer Siegal

Jennifer Siegal is the founder and principal of the Office of Mobile Design (OMD), a firm dedicated to the exploration and production of prefabricated and portable “ecologic” structures.

Siegal was a 2003 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard School of Design, and is the inaugural Julius Shulman Institute Fellow at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. She earned her MArch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

In 2003 Esquire named her one of the “Best and Brightest,” and the Architectural League of New York included her in its Emerging Voices program. In 2006 Fast Company profiled her in “Masters of Design.”
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