For the last several years, Nendo has been obsessively reducing the chair down to its most minimal form, using the least amount of material necessary, combined with innovative technology, to support a user’s weight. In 2009, the Japanese studio introduced the incredibly lithe Cord chair, consisting of a hyperthin steel frame covered in a maple skin. That was followed in 2010 by the 21,400 MM–a piece of furniture composed of thin black wires that looks more like an abstract charcoal drawing than a place to rest your rump. Most recently, Nendo followed up its less-is-more theme with Sen chair, armchair composed almost entirely of fine strips of leather.
A concept design for Poltrona Frau, the project explores the idea of creating a comfy seat without yards of upholstery or gobs of padding. The studio suggests that the pieces of leather could be fortified with aluminum or carbon fiber, so the fine material wouldn’t snap under weight stress. Just as boxy televisions have been replaced by flat LCD screens and incandescent bulbs are being phased out by LEDs, Nendo suggests that it’s possible to employ natural materials such as leather more efficiently. Although not in production yet, Sen could even be used outdoors. And the aesthetic is as far removed from a La-Z-Boy as you can get.