While recent projects have seen tireless Japanese designers Nendo explore the minimalist beauty of black and the subtle intrigue of visual deceptions, one of their latest endeavors combines a bit of both approaches. A recent series for Milan-based gallery Nilufar transforms rolls of paper into objects that, once lacquered, take on the effect of a piece of carved wood.
The sheets are cut, stacked, and pasted together using a special 3-D printer in the team’s Toyko office. “Once it is heated, the paper sticks together,” explains Minako Horanai, assistant manager of the studio. A craftsman excavates the excess material to reveal the solid shape of a small container, which is sanded and sent to Nagano for the “painting part” of the process.
Black lacquer is then applied with a brush and rubbed away, revealing what appears to be the rings of a single block of timber. Instead, it’s a uniquely engineered grain, a few times removed from the bowl’s original tree-centric origin.