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Household Items That Trick You Into Thinking They’re 2-D [UPDATED]

Two stunning projects from Japanese masters Nendo.

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[Nendo has sent even more objects that are part of these exhibitions. See below.?Ed.]

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Nendo, the Japanese interior design outfit, has shared with us two projects they’ll be showing later this month at Phillips de Pury, in conjunction with London Design Week, and they’re both spectacular: A chair and a set of coat-racks whose stark black frames make them look like 2-D line drawings.

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The coat-racks look like straight-up optical illusions, with portions of the frame welded at counter-intuitive angles, kind of like one of those endless staircase drawings by M.C. Escher. Thus, supports that look as if they’re behind the object are welded to parts that look as if they’re in front, creating the mind-bending sense that there’s multiple ways of looking at each one:

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But oddly enough, they were actually inspired by the abstractions that resulted in modern Japanese script, wherein pictographs were gradually transformed into abstract symbols:

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The chairs, meanwhile, feature a similar construction, but this time, the wires are simply laid in parallel–thus forming a chair, where the wires look flat, while the seat actually has the shape of a 3-D box. That, in turn, creates a weird sense that you’re looking at something that’s both 2-D and 3-D, while the overlap of wires creates a humming moire pattern as you walk around it:

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Coffe tables

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Vases:

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Lamps:

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A mirror:

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A chair:

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For more work by Nendo: Click here and here for two Issey Miyake stores; and here for a “baby cafe” for mommies and their brood.

About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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