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With A New Furniture Collection, Nendo Offers An Object Lesson In Objects

Cupboards that won’t remain closed? A lamp shade that won’t stay up? Yup, it’s called art.

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I don’t expect much from my furniture except that it won’t collapse into a jumble of pieces. The latest project from Nendo turns that reasonable assumption on its head, with 14 pieces that are only structurally sound when other objects are placed on them. According to the Japanese studio’s press release: “Object [D]ependencies is an exploration in new forms created by resetting the once-unquestioned relationship between furniture and objects.”

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This is pretty conceptual stuff. The top of a coffee table, for instance, can cantilever off its base, as long as you anchor the opposite side with enough counterbalancing weight; a lamp reveals its light only when its cord is pulled back and held in place with blocks; and a cupboard remains closed with the help of an item placed in front of its door. In other words, these are dysfunctional, off-kilter pieces of furniture that refuse to cooperate without outside intervention. So, in a way, Nendo has found a way to elevate frustrating, expletive-inducing furnishings into works of art.

Object Dependencies is available through Specimen Editions.

About the author

A former editor at such publications as WIRED, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company, Belinda Lanks has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, Interior Design, and ARTnews.

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