IMM Cologne 2019 – When Wonderglass invited Nendo founder Oki Sato to visit its Venician workshops where craftspeople create bespoke designs, an intriguing challenge took shape in his mind: what if we allowed the material to direct the design process? The answer solidified in MELT, a new cast glass furniture and table top collection pushing the boundaries and capabilities of cast glass.
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“I was inspired by looking at the workshops, looking at the people working and using the melted material.” Explains Oki Sato. “The main idea was to let the glass flow by itself using gravity and using the weight of glass itself. In a way, doing less and achieving more is the most complicated thing to do.”
This resulted in a method of laying hot glass sheets over steel pipes, and suspended between steel bars to allow the natural drape of the material to reveal its form. This concept created a challenge to the craftspeople who had to determine an exacting method of timing and temperature.
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MELT debuted in Cologne at the German design magazine AW Architektur & Wohnen’s exhibition which celebrated Nendo as 2019 Designer of the Year. Accompanied by a photographic exhibition, the showcase is a preview of WonderGlass’ upcoming installation at Salone del Mobile in April 2019.
“Nendo has explored the molten liquid nature of the material with incredible skill for Melt.” Say WonderGlass founders Maurizio and Christian Mussati. “Together with our master craftsmen in Venice, they have created a beautiful collection of furniture that focuses on simplicity and the form created by the flow of gravity.”
All images and the video: courtesy of Wonderglass. Photography by Mattia Balsamini.