Cord-Chair by Nendo


Japanese designers Nendo have created a chair made of hollowed-out pieces of wood covering a metal frame.

Called Cord-Chair, the design incorporates hand-carved wooden components with metal rods slotted inside.

The legs are only 15mm in diametre.

Nendo designed the chair for and exhibition of their work at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York called Ghost Stories. New Designs from Nendo.

Here's some more information from Nendo:


We designed "cord-chair" for our private exhibition "Ghost Stories. New Designs from Nendo" at MAD in New York.

Design concept

The cord-chair, a collaboration with Hiroshima Prefecture manufacturer Maruni Wood Industry, has legs only 15 mm in diameter. Rather than assembling wood panels around 9mm steel frame, we decided to hollow out pieces of wood to clad each part of the frame. We were particularly interested in showing off the flawlessness of the wood material. Each of the chair's parts is carved from wood, left simple and undecorated to bring out the flawlessness of the material.

Since each part is only 3 mm wide, the chair must be made by hand, rather than with mass-production machinery. Each chair is carved by artisans who took special care to align the wood grain.

The cord-chair is not about the kind of 'mechanical beauty' that seeks the least common multiple in form and structure.

Rather, with the cord-chair, we wanted to explore the relationship between materials like the metal wiring within an electrical cord and the rubber that encases it.

Like reinforced concrete, the chair separates and highlights the role of each element. It liberates wood from structure, allowing the material's natural warmth and softness to come into sharp focus, and bringing out its greatest common denominator.

Exhibition information.
Title: Ghost Stories. New Designs from Nendo
Place: Museum of Arts and Design
Schedule: 27th October, 2009 - 10th January, 2010

Materials: Wood (Maple), Steel
Dimensions: W420 D450 H802 SH430(mm)
Manuracturer: Maruni Wood Industry Inc.

Posted on Friday October 23rd 2009 at 5:48 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Gerard

    excelent! congratulations ;)

  • roel

    very, very beautiful!

  • utter elegance

  • beady eye

    schweet! dishonest from the traditional ‘truth of materials’ viewpoint, but who cares, its absolutely beautiful… would sit well with Bertjand Pot’s Slim Table which uses a similar principle

  • facespace

    this is the most beautiful wood chair I’ve seen… even though its not really wood.

  • ness

    a job well done, congrats!!

  • angry catalan


  • angry catalan

    @ beady eye: is it really dishonest? It does use wood for its qualities (just not its structural qualities) and has a shape determined by the crafting process. The result is quite minimal and at the same time there are lots of little details that give away how the chair was constructed – so that even though it kind of hides its structural truth, I think Mies would’ve liked this chair.

    I think it’s a little sad that we’ve come to understand a material’s qualities only in structural terms – that’s a very dishonest stance towards the possibilities of wood, metal, brick and, in today’s society, much more industrialised than Mies’, it basically amounts to turning design into flipping through the pages of construction catalogues (i.e. post-Thatcher British modernism.)

    I think its more honest to hide the structure and use the material’s texture than to use a design that includes superfluous elements but “highlights how the building works” (as in Lake Shore Drive – or more radically, in hi-tech architecture.)

  • Tom

    Very nice and eloquent…

  • Booh

    next to the wicker chair… this has got to be the fat persons second hell.

  • win

    wow can’t believe the bit about matching the wood grain. what a perfect detail though!

  • RichardL.

    Very PoMo really. But I have no principles.. Its pretty.

  • very beutiful . It is a minimalism intrior design and power ful structure . exellent

  • bob


  • love it. beautiful detail.

  • aiw


  • Beautiful, almost movingly so.

  • horrible haridas

    f*** this is beautiful!

  • 颜料盒


  • Tyler

    Ohhhh it’s sooooo slick and nice. I love it.

  • betuwill

    simply anorexic,….

  • Moll

    … good !.. very good …

  • jon

    perfectly stunning…the idea, execution,and result is beyond immaculate..

  • erj

    Beautiful detailing!

  • sluggo

    While the chair is very beautiful the differing rates of expansion and contraction and stress tension for wood and metal means cracking and decay for this chair if actually used.
    It is an art piece not an actual chair.

  • beady eye

    @ angry catalan: good point you make about using the other non-structural qualities of the wood…. i agree that the warmth, texture and detailing of the wood are both beautiful and appropriate, point taken.

    Coming from a furniture background, the idea of cladding and concealing the structure does go against a lot of what traditional furniture design thought teaches us as ‘good design’ (in architecture presumably this is a far more normal and widespread method of construction). I think in this case it is this ‘dishonest’ (or non-traditional if you prefer) construction that makes the chair fascinating… at a glance you immediately ask ”how can that be strong enough?’, ‘how have they jointed that?’, ‘how is this made?’, ‘is it really wood?’…. it is a very beautiful visual con-trick, and I love it

  • beady eye

    actually ‘disguised’ is the word i was looking for… it is a metal and wood chair disguised as a structurally impossible wood chair. brilliant

  • llamingfips

    Jerry Says:

    October 24th, 2009 at 4:38 pm
    Beautiful, almost movingly so.

    come on lets not over-react. it’s a chair.

  • simple and elegant

  • HC Bauer

    I really like it, it’s like a modern version of Gio Pontis classic “Superleggera”, both utilizing woods great adaptability with contemporary techniques! Please send on to me as soon as they are inproduction! :)

  • curb

    jesus this is absolutely beautiful

  • This is how less is more!

  • Cr


  • cpcp

    the detailing is immaculate

    hope the wood stays on!

  • BRian



  • Blark

    Stunning, simple and timeless…. Kudos

  • Zaedrus

    Ain’t no chair so dope as this
    It’s just so slim, so clean
    (so slim and so clean clean)

  • Eduardo Alvares

    How elegant!

  • orod

    Fine and pure

  • PaulCb

    …but is it art?

  • Thomello

    Never seen anything like it, Absolutely Gorgeous!

  • Eyecandy!

  • Julia

    I have just returned from a trip to New York, and my first visit to MAD where I saw this exhibit – the show is presented sublimely and the furniture is simply beautiful – particularly also the selection of pieces merging from acrylic into wood.

  • BHL

    Simply & elegance I have never seen before in wood material. That’s pity but “Cord-Chair” couldn’t be made by mass production.

  • francis

    visually fragile.. love it !

  • Elegance and durability in one place, a rarity.