The Scatter Shelf is an elegant grid made of glossy black acrylic sheets arranged in staggered layers of three. Not only is the system structurally strong but it also creates a trompe l’oeil effect; when viewed face-on, objects placed on the five-millimetre-thick shelves appear as though they’re caught in a spider’s web. Yet, if you stare at the shelf from an angle, the opaque acrylic shelves, which all of a sudden seem transparent, multiply and scatter reflections across the whole unit. The ultimate effect is kaleidoscopic.
Tricking the eye has become a popular theme for the Tokyo studio, which is headed up by the super-talented Oki Sato. In recent years, Nendo (which also has a satellite office in Milan) has made sturdy chairs out of featherweight tissue paper and a hammock-like seat made of polyurethane film that’s almost invisible to the eye. At the Salone de Mobile in Milan this spring, Nendo launched Pond table for Moroso, a set of low round tables where a mirrored lower shelf reveals the patterned underside of the table top.
Azure has been keeping a close eye on the prolific studio’s progress over the years. We met up with Oki Sato in Milan (watch the interview here) last spring to discuss his design process, and in our current issue, contributor Andrew Braithwaite delves into how the studio stays on top of their game.
In addition to products, Nendo also creates retail environments for such clients as Issey Miyake and Puma. For one Miyake shop in Tokyo, Nendo created a barely-there display area composed of hundreds of steel rods protruding from the floor. Together, they culminate in a surface that, while sparse and uneven, is a clever way to show off Miyake’s loosely constructed clothes and bags.
Nendo’s new Scatter Shelf is yet another great example of the studio’s light but powerful touch.