The latest news from the Japanese design firm Nendo is a line of reading and computer glasses made of light, pliable polycarbonate resin. The folded “temples” of the glasses snap directly onto the nose piece, and they can then be easily removed so that users can play around with different color combinations. The glasses’ cloth case is cylindrical so that they can be inserted from either end, and the glasses and case are then locked into place by snapping on the temples. These items are sold exclusively at Seibu department stores in Japan. Photos by Akihiro Yoshida
The Japanese design firm Nendo has designed a new table collection based on Winnie the Pooh and friends exclusively for Walt Disney Japan. In a nod to Pooh’s home in the Hundred Acre Wood, the tables are made of natural maple and come in sizes and silhouettes that recall characters including Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and Piglet. Colored knit bands cover different parts of the tables to subtly suggest specific traits of the characters. The Eeyore table, for example, has a a gray band and sloped edge to indicate his perpetually depressed attitude, while the three-legged Tigger table has a central foot covered in a knit orange edge to indicate that lovable (and sometimes annoying) character’s bouncy tail. Pooh’s coffee table has a burgundy shelf that resemble the too-small shirt that he infamously wears sans pants. All images © Disney
Maybe it’s because it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow but desserts are on my mind this week. Nendo just released this new limited edition of chocolates in the form of a set of oil paints for the Japanese Seibu department store. The tubes, which are made of chocolate, each have a different colored wrapper to keep fingers clean and indicate the flavor of the syrup within. The 12 flavors range from the expected (rum, vanilla, caramel) to the surprising (honey lemon, blueberry, and melon). All photos by Ayao Yamazaki
The cargo box is one of those underserved product types. You know they are out there, but no one ever gets excited about them. Nendo‘s new symmetrick roof cargo box hopes to move things along a bit. Designed as part of the brand renewal for Terzo, a car carrier brand produced by Piaa, this new box is symmetrical front to back as well as from left to right. This dual symmetry allows the carrier to be loaded with either end at the front, for opening on either the left or right side. The underside of the cargo boxes needed to be textured to take the weight of the cargo, so Nendo used a dot pattern based on the brand logo. When viewed from some angles, the logo reflects onto the car roof “for a subtle added playfulness” according to the designers. It’s not revolutionary, but a clean, streamlined design that is a improvement in the category. Product photos by Hiroshi Iwasaki. Package photo by Akihiro Yoshida.
Coffee Beer is a collaboration between Anchor Coffee in Kesennuma, a small city in Northern Japan, and the Japanese sake and beer brewery Sekinoichi in Ichinoseki. The beer, which is brewed with coffee beans, is a charity project to raise money for the 2011 earthquake and tsunami (both Sekinoichi and Ichinoseki were devastated during the tragedy). Nendo reused existing beer bottles in order to keep costs low, and covered them with small labels in the shape of coffee beans. As the labels are applied by hand, each bottle is unique, a trait that Japanese consumers will most likely find even more desirable. If you’d like to order some craft beer while supporting a good cause, here is the link. Photos by Hiroshi Iwaski
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