“When you use it, you understand that you are sitting on a Fritz Hansen  chair. If you look at it, you know for sure that the design is Japanese. " This is how Oki Sato, founder (and soul) of the Nendo  studio, describes his N01  chair. An essential furniture, born from the fusion between Danish aesthetics and Japanese stylistic purity, which focuses on wood and its craftsmanship. Made like a puzzle made up of twenty-three pieces of solid wood and veneered, the N01 chair focuses on an essential shape, a linear design and a versatile character.

N01 chair by Fritz Hansen

Yet despite the elementary aesthetics, the construction of the N01 structure was a real challenge, as Nendo himself confirms. “A wooden chair is not a simple product for a designer to make. Indeed, it is one of the most difficult challenges, "admits the Japanese designer. "The brief consisted of designing a new wooden chair suitable for the dining room, comfortable and which respected the aesthetic requirements of the company, and our goal was to create a contemporary chair that would retain the brand identity". Hence the idea and the result: a chair with a minimal look with a structure conceived according to the dictates of Japanese perfectionism, with seat and back made of plywood overlapping nine sheets, characteristic of many seats in the Republic of Fritz Hansen catalog. Without forgetting the joint between the shell and armrests, designed and built in such a way as to avoid the sight of joint elements as much as possible.

N01 chair by Nendo

N01 chair by Nendo working

A difficult challenge but one that has given great satisfaction to both the designer and the Danish brand, who has always been used to collaborating with creatives from all over the world. "The whole experience was truly unique," says Nendo, underlining how the project was born from important moments of confrontation and collaboration. "Every time we visited the Allerød laboratory on the outskirts of Copenhagen, a new prototype was there waiting for us. We questioned and reviewed every single change by double checking every single detail. Especially in the final phase, when it came to being certain of the desired strength and comfort, we didn't compromise. "Creativity, a great know-how and also the choice of the protagonist material act as the glue between the parties." Japanese and Danish design respect wood very much, both as a material and as a manufacturing process, "concludes Nendo." We communicated and spoke the same language thanks to this element in common, despite the distance or cultural differences. Last but certainly not least, another thing must be said: the N01 chair is above all a function, to which the design has adapted, and not the other way around ". 

N01 chair by Fritz Hansen details

Article written for Mohd and signed by Ilenia CarlesimoLa Repubblica contributor journalist.

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