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Nendo Exhibit Celebrates Visual Deception

The latest from the Japanese wunderkinds: an exhibit that tricks you into thinking you’re inside a living room.

More news from Nendo (do these guys ever sleep?): The Japanese designers recently concluded a solo show at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute in which they turned part of the place into a giant trompe l’oeil living room.

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Nendo, of course, are famous in the design world for their artful optical illusions, and Thin Black Lines + Dancing Squares showed off some of their most recent visual trickery. That included wire-frame furnishings that deceive you into thinking they’re 2-D line drawings, and a set of shelves, tables, and other display furniture bent and twisted so that they appear to be dancing.

To amplify the optical effects here, the designers filled the exhibition space with black-and-white trompe l’oeil drawings. One section featured a grainy “wood” floor that winded around the objects on display as if it were water flowing down a river. The other depicted a full-blown parlor room, sketched on the floor and walls using a fish-eye lens. Viewed from just about any angle, the doors and sconces and picture frames seemed as though they’d been skewed by “a tiny water drop,” in the designers’ telling — the perfect complement to Nendo’s skewy furniture.

[Images courtesy of Nendo]

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About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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