The traditional Japanese art form of bonsai involves using cultivation techniques to produce small plants in pots that imitate the appearance of full-scale trees.
Bonsai artists shape their trees by trimming the leaves and pruning and bending branches, as well as adding decorative elements like moss and stones to the soil.
Maintenance of the tree requires sunlight exposure and constant watering, and often entails a substantial amount of professional expertise, which presents a challenge for retailers.
The works of bonsai masters can sell for high prices, but despite the bonsai's artistic acclaim, Nendo explains that it is still very rare to find them outside of Japan due to agricultural import restrictions.
As a result, the popularity of Bonsai-growing among young people and overseas has diminished.
Nendo aims to tackle these challenges with a 3D-printed version of the bonsai tree, which takes the form of an interactive puzzle-like object.
The Grid-Bonsai can be easily trimmed using a pair of bonsai scissors, just like a natural plant, and is designed to be user-friendly and suitable for beginners.
As Nendo's bonsais aren't living plants, there are no import and maintenance restrictions, making over the counter sales easy both domestically and abroad.
The Grid-Bonsai comes in seven different shapes and sizes, all referencing typical forms of the bonsai tree.
Each 3D-printed tree can be customised from its square-shaped extruded form into a smooth, rounded design.
This is not the first time Nendo has imitated natural plants using man-made materials. The Japanese studio previously created a series of ornamental flowers using ceramic.
The collection for Parisian porcelain company Sèvres also included a low table made up of multiple lotus leaves crafted from ceramic.