At a quick glance, Nendo’s new installation for the upcoming Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial in France looks like a simple grouping of colorful plastic tables, but what’s going under the surface is more complex. To create the unusual pastel finish, Japanese design firm used a technique called udukuri to carve away the soft parts of cypress wood boards so that the harder curves and lines of the wood grain stand out. Then, they covered the boards with paper and traced the relief in colored pencils to transfer the wood grain onto the paper. The strokes of the pencils and the wood grain pattern combine to create subtle shades and a unexpected sheen on the table surface. The installation will be on view at the biennial from March 14 through March 31st.
All photos by Hiroshi Iwaski