Japanese culture has a rich tradition of joinery that allows for the construction of furniture and buildings with minimal (if any) foreign bonding agent. Historic temples were built from huge wood members that were joined together solely by the shape of each piece at the joint. If this is all sounding obscure – think of Lincoln Logs. Wood joinery as practiced by the Japanese is sustainable in the most elemental way; by allowing the material to hold itself there are no chemical or metal bonds that alter the natural material which can consequently become the weakest point.
Bamboo Steel Chair. Designed by Nendo for Yii Design.
The Bamboo Steel Chair is an exploration of traditional bamboo handicrafts by Japanese Studio Nendo. The Bamboo Steel Chair was showcased as part of the ‘Yii’ exhibition at La Triennale di Milano during Milan Design Week 2011. As a response to The National Taiwan Craft Research Institute’s concern for the “revitalization and development of Taiwan’s traditional crafts skills and industries,” Nendo designed the chair as part of the Institute’s Yii series, a new project with art direction by Gijs Bakker, co-founder of Droog Design.
Nendo researched Taiwan’s traditional bamboo methods and then applied them to tubular steel pipes. The material choice displays the ability to apply traditional thinking to mass-production quality materials. “Bamboo handicraft techniques were used in the chair’s seat, weaving thin sliced sections and joining parts, wrapping them around each other allowing them to give the hard metal a sense of pliancy.” We’ve seen Nendo do amazing things with seating before on 3rings with the Transparent Chair which was also released this year.
About: Oki Sato received an M.A. in Architecture at Waseda University in Tokyo and soon thereafter started the Nendo Tokyo office. Just three years later the Nendo Milan office opened, and since then has been recognized in magazines, private exhibitions and museum collections such as the MOMA, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Nendo’s mission statement is to provide people with small moments that are well detailed and create richness in the everyday.