If you’re still using a mousepad, you may have wondered, How can this thing be at once small and cumbersome? To be sure, every version on the market falls short of perfection, but A4, from Chinese-Canadian designer Kitmen Keung, gets closer to functional beauty than the lion’s share. The size of a standard 8.5 x 11–inch piece of paper, it features both a smooth surface and a corrugated section for housing the assorted pen and paper clip.
The design arose out of sheer necessity. “About two years ago, I was looking for a mouse pad at home but couldn’t find one,” Keung tells Co.Design. “So I randomly picked an A4 paper and stuck it on my desk with tape. I discovered that I actually felt comfortable with using its size as my mouse pad and also the simplicity and appropriate proportion of that looks beautiful to me.” Keung decided to fashion the nonpaper rendition out of a polyurethane-coated silicone containing thousands of tiny micro grids, to create a low-friction but rough-textured surface. The one drawback: You may have to buy a bigger desk.
A4 is available from the designer’s website for $50 (with an additional $15 for shipping to the U.S.).