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Model - Mimicry Chairs

Mimicry Chairs

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    2012 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    nendo (designers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plastic and foam board model

  • Credit Line:

    Given by London Design Festival

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case CUP, shelf 6

Nendo is a dynamic and innovative Japanese design studio that was formed in 2002 under the direction of architect Oki Sato (b. 1977). Sato was born in Canada and studied architecture at Waseda University in Tokyo. He obtained his MA in 2002 and in the same year founded Nendo’s Tokyo-based studio. A second office was established in Milan in 2005. In Japanese ‘nendo’ means ‘modelling clay’ which reflects Sato’s philosophy that design should be as flexible and transformative as clay.

Well-known in the design community for their highly intuitive, functional and minimalist design philosophy, the studio have completed scores of projects all over the world ranging from experimental furniture, architectural fittings, lighting and tableware to major exhibition and retail interiors.

The studio has won many international awards including the Good Design Award (2003), a Compasso d’Oro Honourable Mention (2011), the Elle Deco International Award for Designer of the Year (2012), the German Design Award (2015) and the Maison & Object Designer of the Year Award (2015). Nendo’s work is in the collections of MoMA, New York; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Their designs have been shown in various international group exhibitions, including ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’ at MoMA. They have also staged several solo exhibitions of their work, most recently ‘Nendo Works 2014–2015’ at the Museo della Permanente, Milan.

‘Mimicry Chairs’ was an installation at the V&A created by Nendo for London Design Festival 2012. It comprised a series of chairs positioned in several locations throughout the Museum. Nendo created a simple chair archetype made from pressed and punched metal which was painted white to create a transparent and ethereal appearance. A single chair was placed in the Grand Entrance with groups of chairs placed in further locations including galleries, staircases and corridors. Nendo worked closely with V&A staff to determine suitable locations.

Physical description

Plastic and foam board model. The model consists of a grey foam board base and back and fourteen white plastic chairs. The chairs are configured so that seven are placed in a line on the base with the other seven placed upside down on top of them.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


2012 (made)


nendo (designers)

Materials and Techniques

Plastic and foam board model


Height: 7.1 cm, Width: 31.6 cm, Depth: 6.9 cm

Descriptive line

Design model by Nendo, for the 'Mimicry Chairs' installation created for London Design Festival 2012, plastic and foam board, Japan, 2012


Plastic; Board

Subjects depicted



Designs; Furniture; Installation art


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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