For their exhibition ‘Home Living Boundless Design’, Hangzhou-based furniture company KUKA invited designers to create collections based on the theme of ‘intelligence’. Nendo’s response was centred around an alternative approach to comfort, presenting the design series ‘Bouncy Layers’.
The Tokyo-based studio decided to ditch the foam, cotton and springs of conventional comfort-first furniture, instead employing 1.5mm thick polycarbonate sheets. By adjusting the material’s bending capabilities through lamination, Nendo have created a surface that is soft and padded for sitting on, but maintains strength at the point of contact with the frame and joints. The result is a selection of minimal forms that curve with human touch. Some pieces of the collection appear shell-like, with layered lengths of polycarbonate sheets playfully inviting a test of their malleability. Through this, Nendo have appealed to intelligent design, explaining that while the ‘soft’ elements of furniture are not usually visible, ‘Bouncy Layers’ has made all materials visually apparent–in doing so, the studio “hopes to inspire a conscious perception of this in people’s minds.”
All images © Hiroshi Iwasaki