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nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at life in vogue 2021 digital event

to mark milano design week, vogue italia is presenting the digital edition of life in vogue 2021 where six designers have been invited to virtually interpret vogue italia’s editorial offices. titled love letters to milan, this edition sees prolific japanese designer nendo taking over the enlightened graphic room where he is presenting the latest collection of the inside out lanterns hyouri. 

nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at the life in vogue 2021 digital event
images by hiroshi iwasaki

 

 

since its foundation in the middle of the edo period (1603-1868 A.D), kojima shouten has been making kyoto paper lanterns. completely handmade, from splitting bamboo to paper pasting, these traditional lanterns feature both strength and durability. nendo’s installation for life in vogue 2021 presents a space designed in the image of traditional japanese wood and timber architecture in a digital world where these lanterns are suspended.

nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at the life in vogue 2021 digital event

 

 

‘the digital space I’ve created is a reinterpretation of the room occupied by vogue italia’s graphic design team,’ said nendo. ‘the background has deliberately been left colorless, in order to graphically outline the hyouri lanterns, which are enveloped in a soft light similar to the glow that shines through shoji doors with their sheets of translucent white paper. in japanese, hyouri means “inside and outside”, and this collection of lamps evokes the so-called chōchin lanterns, which are made with a split bamboo frame covered with paper and usually hung from a hook or pole.’

nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at the life in vogue 2021 digital event

 

 

in standard kyoto lanterns, the ring-shaped bamboo frame functions as the lantern’s bones. a single bamboo strip is shaped into a ring, and after the ends are fixed with washi paper, the loops are fitted into a wooden mold and connected together with thread. with focus on this process, rather than binding the strips tightly to each other, leaving some slack between the strips and binding them with washi paper yielded mobility as if they were joints. adding eight such joints in the circumference of one ring thus enabled the lantern to be turned inside out.

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‘like the hyouri lanterns – which are made with a combination of traditional craft techniques and new design concepts – the graphic design department was created by taking inspiration from the traditional japanese architecture of temples and shrines – such as their characteristic use of timber, and the tsugite carpentry technique whereby lengths of wood are joined together like the pieces of a puzzle,’ nendo continues. ‘however, we have adapted these artisanal influences to the digital world. the columns are accordingly delicate and slender, in virtue of the lack of gravity, and they are surmounted by a structure composed of numerous grids that are joined together to emphasize the sense of depth experienced when navigating a 3D environment.’

nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at the life in vogue 2021 digital event

 

 

a total of 10 designs were produced, including lanterns seeming to swallow parts of themselves, some triply nested, and some even reaching inward to peak through the other side. although kyoto lanterns are often covered with thicker washi paper for outdoor use, hyouri has instead a highly translucent silk lining to leverage its characteristics. the final product is a light, multilayered lantern expressing the genes of the traditional kyoto lantern as well as an aspect far from the latter’s unaffected solidness.

nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at the life in vogue 2021 digital event

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nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at life in vogue 2021 digital event

nendo presents hyouri inside out lanters at life in vogue 2021 digital event

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