Imagine sticking a decorative object up on the wall and watching it take hold securely, without the need for nails or other fasteners. It would make decorating and redecorating your abode so much easier.

Japanese design firm Nendo used the material Alcantara – basically a synthetic suede – to create this intriguing display of birdhouses. One of Alcantara’s characteristics is its non-slip surface, which Nendo took advantage of to seemingly defy gravity.

The backs of the birdhouses and the wall upon which they hang are all covered with Alcantara, so when the tiny houses meet the wall the force of friction holds them there securely.

Most of us could not expect to use this principle at home – after all, how many homes just cry out for a slanted faux suede wall? – but the possibilities presented here are fascinating. How many other materials could do the same? How free would you feel to redecorate often if you didn’t have to create new holes in the wall every time?