By Glenn Adamson
A major force in contemporary design, nendo (founded in 2002 by Oki Sato) has introduced a wholly original language of radical simplicity, poetic metaphor, and lightness of touch. Their latest collection, 18 pieces in all, was inspired by the gentle permeation of watercolor paint into white paper. Each piece is an intersection of steel ellipses, which hover on slim legs; the flat cutout shapes evoke folded models. Sky blue ink, applied by hand, has been dabbed with pulp paper to lighten its hue and blur its edges. In some of the designs, chair forms nestle into tables; in others, planes bend into angles, articulating functional forms. The collection does call to mind traditional Eastern ink painting and origami, but also Color Field abstractions. The dominant impression, though, is celestial: the designs are like pieces of the sky brought to earth. The collection was premiered at Design Miami /Basel in 2018.