Do you ever think about the invisible arcs that our doors trace as they open and close over and over each day? They may not be visible to the naked eye, but they play an important role in our surroundings, which is why they are often depicted on architectural plans. Prolific Japanese design firm nendo chose to investigate these curved paths as the focus of their site-specific Trace exhibition for the 2016 Collective Design Fair during NYCxDESIGN week in New York City. The collection of lighting and furniture pieces appear to blur the line between reality and sketch by outlining the movement of cabinet doors and swinging lights in black metal.
nendo, led by founder Oki Sato, designed the new collection for Collective Design’s annual Collective Influence presentation, which was created to showcase the “exceptional work and career-long impact of a single creative force” each year. Past honorees include Ingo Maurer (2015), Hella Jongerius (2014), and Gaetano Pesce (2013).
“We’re very pleased to honor nendo with the Collective Influence exhibition at the 2016 fair,” said Steven Learner, Collective Design’s founder and creative director. “The firm’s understated yet playful work has had a tremendous impact on design for over a decade. This will be the first opportunity in five years for U.S. audiences to experience the firm’s visionary approach, a testament to Collective Design’s focus on bringing the most innovative worldwide design to New York City.”
“Within the space where we live there are items that ‘move’,” the firm writes on its website. “They are furniture, doors and windows – Items that move in relation to our daily activities. Although they may not be visible, we are subconsciously aware of the ‘traces’ of their movements every day. For example, because of that, we do not put a vase in front of a door. It is essential for a person who specializes in space design to be even more aware of this, as they have to portray these ‘traces’ onto drawings. In the same manner, by visualizing such ‘traces’ in space, the various movement of a door attached to a simple cabinet was implied.”
The immersive installation greets visitors at the entrance of the show with an 85-foot-long wall of metal light fixtures that depict the path that a lightbulb hanging from a string would trace as it swings left to right.
Photo: Adam Reich courtesy of Friedman Benda and the artists
The reception counter itself is also part of the collection, with metal “traces” that show a progression of doors opening within it.
The exhibit then curves into a long hallway lined with 12 wood and metal Trace cabinets.
The Trace collection will be on display at the Collective Design Fair in New York City through May 8.