The pure, graphic simplicity of Nendo is a focal highlight of this year’s Collective Design Fair, which opens its doors at Skylight Clarkson Square in downtown New York tomorrow. The Japanese design collective unveils a new collection of furniture and lighting entitled ‘Trace’, which poetically visualises the relationship between a sketch and the finished product in three-dimensional form.

‘[This] was about visualising the unseen,’ explains founder Oki Sato. ‘People know that you cannot stand in front of [a door] because it’s going to open, but if you look at architectural or technical drawings, you will notice that there are these lines and arches that show how the doors will open. By visualising the movement that people recognise, but don’t really care about, I thought that could create some animation to the furniture pieces.’

‘It is always about recognising the things that we do not see in everyday life,’ he continues. ‘‘The theme is in line with the [50 Manga Chairs] that we showed in Milan this year, which was also about showing emotions and movement.’

Comprised of twelve furniture pieces, as well as an array of lighting, the Trace series has been installed at the entry of the fair’s industrial space. The lights – lacquered metal sconces that each draws arcs in space to articulate the swinging of a pendulum – cover an 85-foot long wall. The furniture – rectangular wooden cabinets with drawers and doors that swing open in different, unexpected orientations, delineated by slender metal frames – flank both sides of the entrance corridor to ensure the fair starts off on a dynamic note. Nendo has also created the reception desk for this year’s edition.

‘Since [everything] is at the entrance of the fair, it had to have this inviting feeling. The way we selected materials, like wood and a warm lighting, we wanted to make them have a friendliness and welcoming feel to the space,’ Sato explains.

The collection has been made possible by Friedman Benda gallery, who has represented the group since 2009. ‘To Nendo and its ever-expanding audience, design is a mental state in which anything can be reimagined and become part of its universe,' says Marc Benda. ‘With every project, Nendo tells a unique, positive, and highly relevant story.’