How do you balance a love for pop culture with a modern, minimalist interior design aesthetic? Some comic book fans, film fiends and toy collectors hide their treasure troves of memorabilia away in an infrequently-used room, especially if their spouses don’t share their enthusiasm; after all, it takes a dab hand at design to balance gaudy plastic tchotchkes with Arne Jacobsen chairs and original Harvey Probber tufted sofas. If you don’t care about it looking good together, all the better for you, but some pop culture collectibles can blend in just fine with luxury modern interiors.
Who better than Nendo, the Japanese firm known for its innovative minimalist home accents, to create a stunning set of Star Wars design objects? We’ve marveled over plenty of clever and beautiful Nendo creations before, from a footed umbrella stand to never-ending coffee mugs. Now, they’ve released a set of decorative and wearable items with super-simplified silhouettes representing iconic characters and ships from the beloved sci-fi series.
Perhaps you’ll recognize among these shapes the signature bun-styled head of Princess Leia, an X-wing fighter, a TIE fighter, Boba Fett, C3PO and more. Each character and vehicle is stripped down to its most basic 3D shapes, while remaining identifiable, and adapted for all kinds of items including necklaces and bracelets, paperweights, canisters, piggy banks and other objects that would fit right into even the most ultramodern of settings.
“Many character goods have been made based on the film, with many based on 2D image manipulation,” say the designers. “So we wanted to open up new possibilities by creating a simplified 3D form. For example, a consecutive repetition of Darth Vader’s concave eyes and mouth turned the object into the instantly recognizable character from every angle.”
“The volume and curvature of the characters were all adjusted to be more or less similar, all having a rounded top and concave base. This enabled the characters to be stacked on top of each other for different purposes. These designs are aimed at being used as a type of ‘material,’ offering the opportunity to the designers and manufacturers who have obtained the licenses to develop their products based on these forms.”
The firm envisions these abstracted versions of the characters as the basis for a whole new world of merchandising opportunities for the series.
“The expansion of the product offerings can be infinite, which provides a whole new fun and creative aspect of exploring the possibilities that resides in characters.
Even if you’re not a fan of ultramodern interior design or even of Star Wars, the set is beautiful in its own right, and it’s kind of fun to have subtle Darth Vader and stormtrooper helmets standing in for boring old salt and pepper shakers on your dinner table. All of Nendo’s Star Wars creations are available through Tokyo-based retailer Seibu-Sogo.
It’s a pretty cool display of the power of minimalism in design, showing how just a few carefully thought out shapes and lines can still register as specific things in the eyes of viewers. Can you identify all sixteen?