Nendo's Foam Core and Carbon Fiber Collection

Carbon Cool

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

By Justin Ray

Tokyo's Studio Nendo's latest installation, Visible Structures, appears to be a graphic homage in back and white to the work of Mondrian and de Stijl movement. All that it is missing is a Swedish garage back in white suits and it's an instant album cover.

But the real story is that the group of monochromatic furnishings (12 benches, stools, chairs, tables and bookcases) is made of ultralight, but very strong materials and an experimental technique: foam core reinforced with industrial strength carbon fiber tape. Nendo wanted to explore the possibilities of carbon fiber and its ability to accentuate other materials. Carbon fiber was used as a supporting building material after the Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 where it proved valuable in holding together massive structures. "Wrapped around pillars or bridge girders, carbon fiber cladding can provide additional seismic resistance for civil engineering works that would be difficult to reinforce against earthquakes through traditional methods," Nendo writes online.

Due to its lightness and durability, furniture made with carbon fiber has a myriad of possibilities. In this case, however, the pattern gives this innovative collection of foam and carbon a designer advantage.

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