The Cord-Chair by Nendo

October 23, 2009

Nendo design studio have created the Cord-Chair in collaboration with the Japanese furniture manufacturer Maruni Wood Industry. The chair is characterized by its extremely thin dimensions, yet despite its delicate appearance, the chair is surprisingly strong.

The cord-chair has legs only 15 mm in diameter. Rather than assembling wood panels around 9mm steel frame, we decided to hollow out pieces of wood to clad each part of the frame. We were particularly interested in showing off the flawlessness of the wood material. Each of the chair’s parts is carved from wood, left simple and undecorated to bring out the flawlessness of the material. Since each part is only 3 mm wide, the chair must be made by hand, rather than with mass-production machinery. Each chair is carved by artisans who took special care to align the wood grain. The cord-chair is not about the kind of ‘mechanical beauty’ that seeks the least common multiple in form and structure. Rather, with the cord-chair, Nendo wanted to explore the relationship between materials like the metal wiring within an electrical cord and the rubber that encases it. Like reinforced concrete, the chair separates and highlights the role of each element. It liberates wood from structure, allowing the material’s natural warmth and softness to come into sharp focus, and bringing out its greatest common denominator.

Photography by Yoneo Kawabe