Nendo creates calm white sanctuary at Milan design week with Invisible Outlines exhibition
Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

Nendo creates calm white sanctuary at Milan design week with Invisible Outlines exhibition

A cut-out mountainscape, wobbly jellyfish vases and tables that melt into bowls are among the items shown by Japanese brand Nendo at its Milan design week exhibition.

On show at the Jil Sander showroom in the Brera district of Milan, the Invisible Outlines exhibition brings together 16 of the brand's projects, all exploring what happens when boundaries are blurred or – conversely – enhanced.

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

"The theme is about boundaries, borders, edges of things," Nendo founder Oki Sato told Dezeen. "It's about showing new ways of seeing things and sharing these things."

The exhibition stretches across seven rooms, largely with an all-white colour scheme and a soundtrack of meditative music. One of these rooms holds the new project Jellyfish Vases – ultra-thin transparent silicon vases in different shapes.

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

The vases are displayed submerged in a fish tank, where they gently wobble around like jellyfish.

The largest space holds 80 Sheets of Mountains – a roomful of mountain-like partitions that was originally shown in Stockholm several years ago.

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

"Each mountain is made of a single sheet of Forex," said Sato. "By cutting them out and stretching them open, it becomes like a mountain."

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

"The project is about creating more edges from a single sheet, because with one sheet there are four sides, but by cutting them and spreading them open, the edges create this kind of landscape."

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

Interspersed between the hills are other projects, including two new works – the Flow collection of coffee tables for Alias and the Gaku lighting for Flos.

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

While the Flow pieces merge the forms of tables and bowls, the Gaku lamps are arranged like small diorama-like scenes within framed boxes and aim "to explore something that is between lighting and interior objects, or furniture".

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

Specially created for the exhibition is a collaboration with Jil Sander called Objectextile, which saw Nendo create a print for a capsule collection of clothes and accessories.

The prints were made by photographing layers of objects suspended inside cubes, rendering three-dimensional images two-dimensional, before they are once again given three-dimensional form in clothing.

Invisible Outlines exhibition by Nendo

Older Nendo works on display include the Trace collection of furniture, which has black sketch-like detailing suggestive of movement, and the Un-printed Material collection of 3D-printed objects that look like the outlines of paper.

Nendo is one of the most prolific studios around, with Sato once telling Dezeen that working on 400 products at a time relaxes him.

Nendo's ultra-thin Jellyfish Vases wobble gently when placed in a fish tank

Sato was the number-one ranked designer on Dezeen Hot List in 2016, and the only one to break into the overall top 20.

Nendo's exhibition is on at the Jil Sander showroom at Via Luca Beltrami 5, and goes from 5 to 8 April. Other exhibitions on during Milan design week include a vase-a-day project by Matteo Cibic and an examination of money and power by Atelier Biagetti.