Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Japanese design firm Nendo has announced their latest venture into chocolate. Following their recent experiments with chocolate made in different textures and in the form of a paint set, Nendo’s chocolamixture consists of little flask-shaped chocolates that come with five different flavors in miniature-sized test tubes: freeze-dried mango, freeze-dried raspberry, a popping candy that bursts in your mouth, three colored heart-shaped sugar candies, and chocolate puffs. Even the lids of the chocolate flask are made of white chocolate that has been smoked to develop a cork color. As with many of Nendo’s edible delights, these chocolates are unfortunately only available for purchase in Japan. Photos by Akihiro Yoshida.
Leave it to Nendo to come up with an entirely new look for the slipper. While this new cone-shaped footwear concept looks triangular from the side, a natural crease forms in its in-step portion. Only available in Japan, the gnomish shoes can stand on their own without taking too much space, and several can be stacked up in the foyer with no need for slipper racks — ideal for typically small Japanese residential spaces. Made of polyester and synthetic leather, the shoes come in two sizes and four colors. Photos by Akihiro Yoshida.
Nendo was recently asked to design the packaging for Shiawase bananas, high-quality bananas grown on a plantation in a national park located in the north-central region of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Grown using only organic fertilizers and adhering to the strict restriction on the use of pesticides, the produce became the first bananas to be awarded with 2 Stars at the International Taste and Quality Institute (iTQi) Superior Taste Awards in Belgium. To keep things as simple as a banana’s natural packaging, the Japanese design firm decided to steer clear of boxes or packing material, and instead applied stickers to the surface of the banana peel. The double layered sticker has a top layer that replicates the textural feel and colors of the banana peel, even down to the lifelike bruises and discoloration. When this top layer is peeled off, the second sticker reveals a description of the banana’s origins upon a background the color of banana flesh. Nendo also designed a paper carrier bag designed so that when the string handle is removed you can easily pick out the …
This clever “stay-brella”— created by the Japanese design firm Nendo exclusively for Seibu department stores in Japan — has a forked handle design that gives it a foot to stand on when not in use. This little feature also allows the umbrella to easily hang from tables and stay propped up on a wall when drying. The umbrella comes in eight different colors and has a strap to hang from the arm. A special surface coating reduces UV rays by 90%, a great feature in a country where folks use umbrellas for sun protection as much, if not more often, than rain protection. All photos by Akihiro Yoshida.