Milan 2011: this chair made from polyurethane film is part of a collection of transparent furniture by Japanese designers Nendo, on show in Milan this week.
Other pieces in the series include an acrylic table top cast from deep-grained wood and a lamp shade made from a clear film that diffuses light when seen straight-on.
The collection is on show at Galleria Antonia Jannone, 125 Corso Garibaldi, Milan 20121 from 12-16 April.
Photographs are by Masayuki Hayashi.
The following details are from Nendo:
Solo exhibition “texured transparencies” in Milan
4 new pieces will be exhibited at Galleria Jannone
Textured transparencies collection
Our furniture collection explored transparency, but with a difference: not transparency that seeks only to disappear visually, but the half-transparency that exists in gradations in the space between the transparent and the opaque, and the minute differences visible between different levels of transparency.
A chair made with polyurethane film, a transparent film commonly used as a packing material for precision instruments and products susceptible to vibrations and shock, thanks to its high elasticity and ability to return to its original state.
All pieces explored transparency’s infinite nuances, but were constructed from different materials, pointing to the possibility of new functionalities and visual effect
Looking at the chair, it seems to consist of nothing but a backrest and armrests. It wraps and supports the body like a hammock, providing a light, floating feeling for the sitter.
We cast clear acrylic in a wooden form with a strong grain and assembled the resulting pieces to create a table made of ‘transparent wood’. We reproduced the butt ends faithfully and bevelled the edges like floorboards, and matched the grains ends and dimensions of the wood used for the table legs to the ‘transparent wood’ to create a unified piece.
The two tables have specific and different optical effects: at first glance the black table is wood, but a closer look reveals its transparency, while the clear table is the transparent at first glance, and only later reveals its wooden form.
Today, we’re blessed with a variety of sight-protective films for window glass and smart phone screens that prevent unwelcome peeks from neighbours.
Our pendant lamp uses a type of protective film that is semi-transparent when viewed directly, and transparent when viewed at an angle.
We placed the light source at the centre of the ring of film, creating a lampshade that might be transparent, but mutes the light emitting from its centre through the layer of half-transparency regardless of the angle from which it is viewed.
The light hits the film at a right angle, creating the effect of soft light spilling into the space of the room as it passes through the transparent lampshade.
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