Milan Design Week: Spotlight on Nendo

Tokyo-based designer Nendo has been all the buzz in the design world as of late, stepping up to the plate in a big way for the likes of giants Lexus and Issey Miyake. What follows is three of his latest creations.

Showcased in collaboration with Lexus at Design Week in Milan this month is his Diamond Chair, Diamond Bubble, and Diamond Pillar. Based on the atomic structure of diamonds, this collection is made from nylon powder using a 3D rapid prototyping process called selective laser sintering (SLS). The chair emerges in two separate pieces that snap together, due to the size limitations involved in its production. Supportive and flexible, this Diamond Chair is thicker is parts where weight-bearing occurs, and thinner in spots where more comfort is desired.

The birth of the Diamond ChairThe birth of the Diamond Chair


How do these diamonds in the rough relate in any way to Lexus?

"We want visitors to experience the ultimate fusion of opposite elements that is ‘L-finesse' [concept car], the design ideal behind the premium Lexus automobile brand. Using the atomic structure of diamonds as our motif, we have designed a 'strong but flexible' structure that will fuse the existing opposing concepts of ‘strong yet solid' and ‘weak yet flexible'."

Lexus prototype with polypropylene Diamond PillarsLexus prototype with polypropylene Diamond Pillars

So there you have it.


Unearthing the cabbageUnearthing the cabbage














Next up is Nendo's Cabbage Chair, a piece for an exhibition curated by Issey Miyake in the shopping mecca of Roppongi, Tokyo. Apparently, pleated fabric leaves a nasty byproduct: tons of pleated paper, usually discarded as waste. As such, Miyake requested Nendo and his team create furniture from the paper. The solution came in the form of his Cabbage Chair, which is a standing roll of said paper whose layers get peeled away one by one to create a comfortable and resilient seat. The pleats add some springy bounce, and the paper is treated with resins, so it's durable. The chair has no internal structure, no screws or nails, and could be eventually produced so that it gets shipped as one easy roll for the customer to peel back and use at home.

Towering giantsTowering giants














Finally, we have his Kazadokei clocks which thoroughly unnerved me at first glance. Something about their simple, futuristic lines and imposing height of two meters (!) just sets me on edge. The second hand alone measures 150 centimeters. As the designer suggests, these might be better for public spaces like parks or large buildings, where they won't tower over anyone with their freaky windmill-like time keeping. Like windmills catch wind, these "catch time" with their long arms.

This wee selection of this Japanese designer's work merely scratches the surface of his vast portfolio. To delve deeper into his elaborately modern, futuristic world, I suggest you check out his website for yourself.

Found at designboom, sourced additionally at Dezeen and Nendo's site