Oki Sato and Luca Nichetto met over a coffee in Stockholm and decided to do a unique collaboration on a brand-new collection.

Inspired by a style of Japanese poetry similar to the exquisite corpse approach, the two exchanged ideas, then finished off each other’s designs.

The entire endeavor lasted a remarkably quick couple of days.

Bridges for Islands is "a sofa like an archipelago," Sato explains.

"Taking the way that Venice’s many islands are connected by narrow bridges as the image, we designed thin legs that seem to float on the water surface and connected the cushions," Nichetto says.

The piece was produced by Casamania and Innofa.

Fish Skin on the Roof is a carpet composed of overlapping pieces.

Clever! "Since the carpet has so many connecting points, it’s ideal for concealing the home appliance, lighting, phone charger, and other electrical cables that overflow in modern daily life," they say.

This piece was manufactured by Ogeborg.

Paper Ice Cream! These lightweight lamps were produced by Foscarini and Taniguichi.

Traditional Japanese paper was dyed and made in a 3-D process.

Portable pot: a cork stool with a handle in the center that rises up and down.

Handle up!


Component parts.

Shelves in a Comic are meant to evoke speech bubbles.

The glass units were manufactured by Glas Italia.

Perfect for a few of your favorite things.

Trellis Bandaged is a room divider manufactured by Innofa and Vertigo Metals.

"The motif: the electrical wiring that keeps a car’s rear window from fogging up," explains Nichetto.

Stretchy fabric extends across the frame.

The Wedge of Matter candleholder comes in brass or marble.

The space in between can be adjusted depending on the size of the candle.

"The candleholder even looks like a 'lump of matter’ when not in use," says Nichetto.


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A Furniture Line Springs From Big-Name Designers Taking Turns

Designers Luca Nichetto and Oki Sato of Nendo produced a new collection based on a series of idea exchanges.

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.

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