nendo: Blown-Fabric, 2009

by Claudia Dias on June 5, 2009

Interestingly enough, whenever there seems to emerge a new high-tech material, it arrives ‘camouflaged’ in a vintage design. I  feel this way again with nando’s blown-fabric designs. Discovering “Smash”, a specialized long-fiber non-woven polyester, a light and rip-proof product of  Japanese advanced synthetic-fiber technology, can be blown into unique shapes, nando applies this technique to create Japanese-style chochin paper-lanterns. While admiring the outcome of the experiment, I wish for a less retro application, … but maybe that’s what we generally call ‘progress’. To keep it vintage: “One small step for men, one giant step for mankind.”


‘Smash’ … can be manipulated into different forms through hot-press- forming technology. Because it is thermo-plastic, (…) but glows beautifully when light passes through it, we wanted to create lighting fixtures in the style of vernacular Japanese chochin paper lanterns with it. (…)  We realized that Smash’s particular properties would allow us to shape it like blown glass into a seamless one-piece lantern. It is impossible to completely control the process, so each fixture takes a unique form as heat is added and pressurized air is blown into it. As in glass-blowing, we can intervene during the production of each piece, resulting in a collection of objects whose infinitely varied imperfections are reminiscent of the infinite formal mutations of viruses and bacteria in response to environmental changes…’      


‘The fixtures are weighted at the base by the light source.(..) Smash changes form if the interior temperature rises above 80 degrees centigrade, so we mounted low-heat LED bulbs in machined aluminium sockets that double as a heat-sink to maintain a low interior temperature.”
Text quoted from nendo              

nendo created blown-fabric for ‘Tokyo Fiber ’09 Senseware’ presented in April at the Milan 09 Triennial


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Murfomurf 01.17.11 at 11:00 pm

I would love to be able to have a turn at blowing some of this into shapes! Looks like a very flexible medium!

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>