Collaborations between two powerful creative forces can be fascinating endeavors. Will they be a test of strong wills, one right brain against the other, or a seamlessly simpatico union of like-minded sensibilities? Italian designer Luca Nichetto and Japanese designer Oki Sato of Nendo found themselves to be kindred spirits over a shared coffee in Stockholm a mere few months ago and decided to work together on a new exhibition debuting this month during Milan’s Design Week.
Nichetto=Nendo represents the culmination of a process (inspired) by a particular kind of short, five-line Japanese poetry--a bit similar to the exquisite corpse method of making--where one person writes the first three lines and another composes the final two. In an incredible turnaround, the pair conceived the entire collection based on a series of exchanges that lasted just a few days. The breadth of the pieces is pretty remarkable in terms of, well, everything: form, function, materials, and inspiration. Paper lamps that look like popsicles, overlapping carpets that have the effect of fish skin, colorful glass shelves reminiscent of speech bubbles in comic strips--a diverse set, to be sure, but one that manages to feel cohesive as a whole.
Of course, it helps to have friends in high places, and an impressive roster of design brands and manufacturers came together to turn the pair’s ideas into physical reality: Glas Italia, Foscarini, and Casamania are just a few of the big names who produced the products.
Check out Nichetto=Nendo in person during Milan’s Design Week, April 10 through April 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Foro Buonaparte 48.