Nendo designs 50 chairs based on Japanese manga comics

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Milan 2016: Japanese design studio Nendo has created a series of 50 chairs, which are each based on the abstract lines and grids used in graphics for manga-style comic books.

Manga chairs by Nendo

Each chair in the Manga collection is made from polished stainless steel, and is intended to emulate a design element used to illustrate emotions or actions in stories.

Manga chairs by Nendo

For example, one chair represents a speech bubble, while others are intended to depict emotional symbols such as sweat and tears.



An effect line – a series of lines often used to visualise sound or action – is presented through a chair with numerous poles protruding from its back.

Manga chairs by Nendo

Manga is a style of comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children, which conform to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century.

Manga chairs by Nendo

"Manga is a means of expression with a high degree of flatness and abstraction, and which is composed of a series of lines," said Nendo. "We could say that manga comics are deeply rooted in Japanese culture, since they can be traced back to Ukiyoe prints developed during the Edo period in 1603 to 1868."

Manga chairs by Nendo

"Manga consist of a series of frames on a single sheet of paper that creates a sequence," the studio added. "Similarly, 50 standard chairs are lined up in a grid, each one conjures up a sense of story, and each with a design element from manga."

Manga chairs by Nendo

In a similar way to the comics, physical aspects such as colour and texture are intentionally avoided. instead, the designers opted for a complete mirror finish.

Manga chairs by Nendo

"The mirror finish generates new spatial layers as the mirror surface reflects the real world, just like manga does," said the designers.

Manga chairs by Nendo

The 50 Manga chairs will be presented as an installation for Friedman Benda gallery, New York at the Facoltà Teologica dell'Italia Settentrionale during Milan design week, which takes place from 12 to 17 April 2016.

Manga chairs by Nendo

Nendo – led by designer Oki Sato – is well known for its vast annual output of products, interior design and architecture projects. In an interview with Dezeen last year, Sato said that working on up to 400 projects at a time relaxes him.

Manga chairs by Nendo

"I can't keep up," he said. "The more ideas I think of, the more ideas I come up with. It is like breathing or eating."

Manga chairs by Nendo

The Japanese studio's most recent projects include a range of pet accessories designed to complement minimal interiors, and a squidgy cube that acts as an umbrella stand.

Photography is by Kenichi Sonehara.

Manga Chairs by Nendo
Concept sketch
nendo-milan-leaflet-dezeen-936
The 50 Manga chairs will be presented as an installation for Friedman Benda gallery, New York at the Facoltà Teologica dell'Italia Settentrionale during Milan design week, which takes place from 12 to 17 April 2016
  • H-J

    I don’t see why not. Cute drawings.

  • Frank Lloyd Wrong

    Funny, but it’s something a second-year student would do.

  • T,.T

    Would be helpful to see some of manga-style comic reference…

  • Harris Jay

    Not very stackable are they.

  • khruner

    The end of Nendo.