Leave it to the culture that brought us origami to once again turn paper into art. Award-winning Japanese architecture duo Yuri Naruse and Jun Inokuma are replacing those tired, yellow Post-its with IE-Tags—house-shaped sticky notes that can double as page tabs and pass as petite desk sculptures. "The Post-it is not meant to be displayed," Inokuma says. It also doesn't solve an age-old problem in Japanese architecture: wooden waste. The life expectancy of an ie, or "house," in Japan is 30 years, and its remains are usually burned for energy. IE-Tags, which will hit the market this fall, are made from recycled wood from construction sites, effortlessly promoting eco-consciousness. Says Naruse: "The house shape leads the mind to imagine what the material used to be." narukuma.com
A version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.