nendo works 2014-2015 - the art of storytelling
nendo works 2014/2015 was a detailed retrospective of the company’s past year, showcasing most everything that went into production from the design team’s table. The ground floor of the exhibit was dedicated to the joint projects of nendo and Glas Italia, of which there are several. Having found inspiration in the special frosted glass manufacturing process, nendo’s designers came up with ranges of glass furniture which possess a striking visuality.
The 'fragment' screen for instance features a multi-layered mirror texture. When one stands in front of the partition, one’s own image and the objects beyond the screen reflects randomly, changing the appearance depending on the angle at which they are viewed.
Color gradients and combinations played a major role in Nendo’s work with Glas Italia. The Soft table, perhaps one of the most innately calming in the product range features colorful gradients at its edges. This was accomplished by painting the 45° cross-sections of the joints in vibrant colors, and using 5 layers of frosted glass.
Moreover, the reverse sides of the sheets have been printed with a pattern, which further accentuates the ominous muteness of the objects. This special technique combined with the low-standing box-shape achieves the ‘softness’ that is referenced in the products’ name, and makes for a glass table that is simple and futuristic at the same time.
The first room of Nendo’s exhibition was a dazzling experience. We have arrived early enough to experience the project without any major interruptions, as only a handful of people were wandering around the clean and spacey hall. Having walked around the beautiful glass objects at least 6 times, I was ready to continue my journey through the exhibition. The clear shadow table marked one more calming moment on the ground floor. It’s a spectacularly complicated construction, with a dual-layer top panel. The bottom layer has two different coatings, one matte white – a great backdrop for strong, contrasting shadows – and one black layered under it.
The top layer of the glass is fully transparent, with a subtle snowflake-like pattern. If the tables catches direct light, the pattern casts an articulate shadow on the white coating. It’s really a quite interesting sight.
After that the second room came as a wake-up call. With a gigantic illuminated wall panel serving as backdrop, pieces of the ‘pair’ collection stood in rigorous order. The bright light gave the edges and lines of the furniture an impressive contrast, and heightened the sense of a multi-dimensional geometry throughout the room. The staircase to the second floor opened from the main hall, so the juxtaposition of such different visual experiences was very evident.
While a good majority of the pieces were upstairs, the second floor still felt like a mere attachment to the Glas collection, mostly because of the presentation. Since Glas Italia was the main sponsor of the exhibition, it’s perfectly logical that their products would be in the spotlight. Accordingly, the joint projects between them and nendo were presented in a breathtakingly strong manner. The second floor in contrast was a much simpler experience, with various objects from different manufacturers lined up in the big, open space.
Highlights include the Tokyo Tribal Collection, a collaboration with industry+ a Singaporean design company dedicated to fusing manufacturing and traditional craftsmanship through its collaborations all over Asia. The materials used are solid oak, a bamboo rattan material, hand-woven by local artisans in the Philippines and a certain volcanic sand plaster that is used for the finishing of the boards. The pieces are meant to create a sense of togetherness. According to the designers: “the conceptual aim is to create a sense of a small and tightly-knit ‘tribe’, greater and better than the sum of its parts.”
There was also a very interesting project on show with Alcantara. Various shades of Alcantara were rolled up into a ‘log’, modeled after real trees. These were then cut into slices of lumber, creating the effect of ‘Alcantara tree-rings’. This aptly demonstrates nendo’s flavor of creativity. Taking the ordinary, and inserting one of those “!” moments into it.
Apart from the highlights, various small, leather-clad objects were exhibited, as well as a selection of far-from-traditional doors, with various unlikely functions. Think corner door, door with pockets, sliding panels door, etc. There were also one-off pieces, like the rain bottle series made for maison & objet 2014 and the Fandango perfume bottle for ‘The Garden of Wonders: A Journey Through Scents’ at Orto Botanica Brera.
nendo works 2014-2015 was a grandiose display of the products made by one of the most innovative and daring design collectives around. A functional and aesthetic tour-de-force, with magnificent glass furniture in its focus. Novel ideas paired with unmatched craftsmanship and technique, these are objects that can really tell a story. A story of ideas, feelings and emotions. You might not hear it, and they will not rub it in your face. But if you take a walk among nendo’s designs, you will definitely feel it.
press images provided by nendo
exhibition images by the face
We are a bunch of creatives from very diverse backgrounds, like architecture, interior architecture, design and graphics design held together by our passion for fresh ideas, new technology, alluring concepts, effortless fun, relentless design, products, and dreams. All of us are a working professional creating living spaces, environments in a daily basis focused on three areas like homes, work- and leisure-spaces.
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