Founded in 2002 by a group of architecture graduates who had recently visited the Milan Design Fair, Nendo has since become an internationally-renowned multidisciplinary design studio that’s been responsible for everything from mug designs for Starbucks and retail design for Camper shoes to ice cream cakes for Häagen-Dazs and furniture designs for Cappellini. Named after the Japanese word for children’s modeling clay, Nendo is currently operated by its cofounders Oki Sato and Akihiro Ito and over 30 employees at their Tokyo headquarters.
More recently, the studio teamed up with Alcantara S.p.A. – the Italian manufacturer of Alcantara – and presented a project exhibition that was held in conjunction with the recent EXPO Milano 2015 in May.
Using the company’s composite fabric material – which has been used to cover surfaces and forms in a variety of applications ranging from automotive and yacht interiors to architectural interiors since the 1970s – Nendo layered, rolled and glued multiple pieces to create what can be described as an ‘Alcantrara log’. The resulting log, which was made using multiple colors of the material, was then processed like a traditional wooden log to create slices of lumber that revealed what Nendo calls “Alcantara tree rings”.
As for what the material can be used for, the company has outlined that it could be used for everything from flooring to furniture designs, as they tested during the material development.
Find out more by heading over at Nendo.