Prolific design studio du jour Nendo has added to its ever-plentiful yield at this year’s Salone del Mobile with a tapestry of table-top offerings. Last year, Nendo’s collective imagination ran wild with a futuristic clock installation. Now, at least for this project, the attention is firmly on the practical: kitchen container lids.
Made in collaboration with air conditioning manufacturer, and third-time fair-goer, Daikin, the lids are made from fluoroelastomer – a raw material used in its air conditioning systems. This high-performance rubber, also commonly used in the automotive industry, has outstanding heat, oil and acid resistance and excels in preventing changes in colour and shape over a long period of time – ideal for storing your sauces, condiments and cereals.
The Pick-up lid pinches seasoning without mess
Each lid is designed to showcase different possibilities, whether they’re space saving, or mess-preventing. The Pinch lid, for example, conceals a small spoon which appears when pinching its edge, and the Press lid opens like a mouth when pressing down its top, for easy pouring. ‘These lid designs aim to symbolise something between human and an object,’ says the brand, ‘conveying the abstract feeling of air – which in reality we cannot really sense – in a tangible way.’
Alongside its air conditioner-inspired kitchen hacks, the Japanese design stalwart has also turned its hand to tiles for this year’s fair. Ceramic tiles are ordinarily produced using molds, in order to create a smooth uniform shape and finish on the clay. But – no strangers to material provocation – Nendo’s patchwork of spherical and cubed tiles were made using shaped clusters of clay pressed under a solid surface.
Ceramic clusters, before they are pressed by a flat surface into tiles, by Nendo
Due to the proccess’s unregulated nature, each tile is slightly different, aiming to give a softer, more bespoke feel to your tile tesselation. ‘The clay mixing balance, the moisture level, the pace of pressure and the right shapes and angles were all tested to enable the best possible outcome,’ says Nendo. ‘In the end, it almost felt as if the material itself was the one determining the process and designing the tile shapes for us.’
Ground-breaking, headline-grabbing installation this is not – don’t worry, Milan has these by the beautifully-designed bucket. But we can see these quiet designs (which make up for bells-and-whistles with clarity of vision) becoming household favourites.