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Stephen Johnson developed a colorful adhesive dough
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Stephen Johnson developed a colorful adhesive dough

London designer Stephen Johnson developed a colorful adhesive dough that is strong enough to bond parts of furniture together.

The synthetic dough, called PLAY, is designed to look like children’s modelling toy Play-Doh, but to function as a strong adhesive. It can be used to bond a range of materials, including wood, glass, marble and metal.




Johnson developed the product after trying and failing to use toy dough in the manufacture of his own furniture designs.

“The objective was to design functional products using kids dough, but given its soft nature it’s just not feasible,” he told. “I needed a material that looked and behaved in the same way but became rigid over time.”

The designer has spent five years developing his PLAY dough. He is keeping quiet about the exact recipe used, but says it is a hybrid of synthetic and organic matter.

The substance is designed to be easy to mould, but to also have an “instant grab” once stuck to something. He hopes it will instill the creative freedom of children in other designers. Johnson has created a range of tables to demonstrate the strength of the material. The dough was squashed into joints between surfaces and legs and left to set for a few hours. Once set, it remains clearly visible.

It can also be used as decoration: Johnson has used it to add color to a pair of pendant lights, by compressing it onto the underside of each dome. “Each light is both a multiple yet unique – a standardized product with a DNA of fingerprints, gestures and colors individual to each piece,” he added.


Photography by Johnson

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