Nendo Takes Over MADProjects Gallery
Starting this week, New York’s Museum of Arts and Design will cede control of its second-floor MADProjects Gallery to Nendo, a Tokyo-based studio known for its clever, subversive updates to traditional design concepts.
Ghost Stories: New Designs from Nendo collects four new designs, along with prototypes and videos.
Left: The “Fade-Out” chair has a wood-grain finish that fades out as its legs reach the floor, giving the impression that the chair floats. Right: The "Cord" chair features a thin, frail-looking frame that conceals a sturdy aluminum skeleton.
Below: The “Phantom Waves” series of cylindrical vases.
Polarized Mylar creates the illusion that the vases have been divided into segments by solid discs. When flower stems are dropped into the vase, they appear to pierce the discs.
“So many products have been designed with only function in mind,” says Oki Sato (right), Nendo’s founder and the recipient of more than 45 awards for his creations. “It’s time to think more about the emotional response something evokes. My inspiration is everyday life. I really enjoy those ‘Aha!’ moments – moments when something new or different gives you a pleasant surprise – and I want to share those moments with people.”
Nendo made its New York debut in February, bringing an earlier version of Ghost Stories to the Friedman Benda Gallery in Chelsea. That version of the show showcased 40 “Cabbage Chairs,” created in response to a challenge by the fashion designer Issey Miyake to design an object that would convey “how man will live in the 21st century.” Nendo’s cabbage chairs were made with folded paper rolls, seemingly without regard to conventional chair-making techniques.
The Cabbage Chair, right, which looks, as the name suggests, like a giant head of cabbage, has been added to the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Musée des arts decoratifs in Paris.
Nendo’s breathtaking installation is an ideal fit for our MADProjects Gallery, which has become a spectacular space for us to showcase the newest, most original creations in design,” says Holly Hotchner, the museum’s director. “In debuting Nendo’s latest projects and showing their prototypes, we are giving visitors a chance to see into the design process behind some of the most original, cutting-edge works.”
The exhibit opens Oct. 27 and runs through Jan. 10.
For more information on Nendo's pieces featured above, visit the slideshow.