Japanese design group Nendo’s acrylic shelving unit will tidy your stuff while shattering it into pieces – using an intriguing optical illusion
Giving people a small ‘!’ moment,” is how Nendo describes the purpose of its designs. According to Akihiro Ito, a member of the Japanese design collective, that moment can translate into “happiness, fun, strange, sympathy, doubt, anger … anything”.
The group’s Scatter Shelf is both practical storage system and optical illusion in one, constructed from thin black acrylic sheets in an irregular grid formation. The shelf is structurally strong, with the ability to support an array of objects, but its kaleidoscopic quality is what’s most striking about it. When the system is viewed directly, objects stored on the shelves look as though they are caught in a spider’s web. At an angle, the glossy opaque acrylic appears transparent and the objects look as if they’re floating in mid-air.
What gives the Scatter shelf its name is the effect caused by the varying positions of its shelves and support. This splinters and scatters the reflections of objects placed in the unit in unexpected ways.
Oki Sato, Nendo’s founder, initiated the concept of the Scatter Shelf by drawing a linear “manga-style” sketch. “With the assistance of one other designer, the concept was further developed in regards to shape, material and colour,” explains Ito.
Since its formation in 2002, Nendo has become renowned for its inventive and stylistically quirky work. A recent solo show at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute featured a collection of furniture titled Thin Black Lines, presented within trompe l’oeil interiors.
Nendo’s 16 members are now working on more than 100 different projects, including commercial interior spaces in Japan, China, Korea and Milan. A solo exhibition in Paris is set to open early next year.
Nendo/ Masayuki Hayashi