Dezeen Magazine

Nendo creates Kanji-inspired furniture and stone-shaped tableware for Zens

Japanese studio Nendo has created a collection of furniture and accessories in its trademark minimalist style for Chinese lifestyle brand Zens.

Debuted this week at Paris trade fair Maison&Objet, the collection includes a variety of playful pieces for the home.

These include Picto, a four-piece furniture collection includes a table, seat, shelf and storage unit. Each piece features the same triangle-shaped base, while the tops vary according to the function – a smooth flat surface acts as a table top and a slightly bent surface is used for seating.

Three layered surfaces create a simple set of shelves while a series of stacked cylinders can be used to store small accessories such as keys and smartphones.

"Similar to a Kanji, where one word is a combination of multiple meanings; by arranging three-dimensional shapes in different ways, we can form a variety of furniture pieces," said Nendo.

"Also by maintaining a simple silhouette and giving it depth only by extruding it, the objects project a strong graphic expression similar to the essence of Chinese characters," continued the studio.

A display system, called Chirp, was inspired by the image of birds sitting on a power line.

The tree-like structure is made up of a series of light grey panels which are attached to a central pole. The containers, which can be used to store small items such as pens and keys or used to display flowers, slot onto the panels and can be added or removed depending on how many are needed.

Meanwhile the Stone collection comprises a series of stackable tea and coffee sets with round stone-like lids and a series of square and long plates with accompanying stone-shaped containers.

The design studio said its intention was for it to appear as if stones are placed on top of the different cups and dishes.

"Tableware lids generally have a plain surface, so by creating three-dimensional shaped lids for this collection, they are becoming an inherent part of the overall function," said Nendo.

The tea set includes an iron kettle and a teapot for Chinese tea that each feature a perforated silicone lids that double as tea strainers. A similar lid on the accompanying glass water jug enables it to be used for cold brewing tea.

The choice of silicone means that the lids have very low thermal conductivity while also preventing unpleasant "clatter" sounds when placed on a table.

The tea and coffee sets are stackable, making the sets easier to carry while giving the appearance of a pile of stones.

Similar stone-shaped containers that can be used as sauce dipping dishes were created for square, round and long plates. The stones sit on the square and long plates within partially sunken compartments.

In addition to designing the new collection, Nendo was responsible for Zens's booth design at Maison& Objet.

Other products launching at the fair, which runs until 23 January 2018, include a collection of tufted, printed and embroidered textiles by Tom Dixon, and a martial arts-inspired table and chair set by AC/AL Studio for Petite Friture.

Photography is by Akihiro Yoshida.

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