Nendo – A Breeze of Light @ Salone Milan 2019

Nendo – A Breeze of Light @ Salone Milan 2019

With a poetic and pure installation, designer Oki Sato once again showed himself to be among the top designers to follow at Salone 2019

Nendo crafted a stunningly simple installation for Daikin, obligating visitors to take a brief timeout in a white wonderland, where illusional illumination fills spaces in a breath of fresh air.

The idea for the installation from Nendo, was born last summer.

It was then that Sato observed how the intensity of shadows changed on film depending upon the angle of the light’s refraction.

Behind the ephemeral and ethereal effect lies a meticulous study and astute management of each and every detail: from the light to the conditioned air.

In doing so, Nendo has crafted a beautifully simple space with the ability to disorient.

In collaboration with Daikin, the air conditioner manufacturer, the project is based on the concept of ‘invisible air’ and aims to provide visitors with a unique spatial experience that offers an opportunity to ‘experience in sight what we can only feel in real life.’

Japanese studio Nendo has collaborated with air conditioning manufacturer Daikin to create an immersive installation with 17,000 flowers of the occasion of the Milan Design Week.

This installation evokes the sensation of a comfortable breeze by the movement of light and shadows, not actual air.

ito saki ( nendo ) at the opening of ” Breeze with Light”

When a spotlight is layered with a polarizing filter and projected on to another flower-shaped polarizing film, the light passes through two layers of filters which makes the flower’s shadow darker than expected.

Pivoting the filter 45 degrees creates a more translucent shadow, and by rotating it an additional 45 degrees, the shadow completely disappears.

In order to create a spatial experience using this principle, 115 polarized spotlights with individually-controlled motors were suspended from the ceiling.

On the floor, 17,000 flower-shaped polarizing films were spread in calculated patterns.

Each flower was placed in a different height so the entire space appears as a smooth and wavy landscape, as if it was a real garden of flowers.

The movement of the polarizing films on the spotlights allows constant change in the intensity of the flower’s shadows, even though there is no change in the amount of light in the space.

And although there is no air blowing in the room, the shadows appear to be effected by a gentle breeze passing through the garden.

By focusing on an invisible subject, the installation offers a unique opportunity to experience in sight what we can only feel in real life.


Breeze of Light “ is an installation where you feel wind by the variance in shadow intensity

Because Daikin is a manufacturer specializing in air conditioning, the company is always thinking about air and creates air that is suitable for various places. We wanted to create a space where you could strongly feel the existence of air that you are usually unaware of.” ………… Oki Sato



We started a conversation with Daikin on how to express “air”, which is the core philosophy of the brand, and which is something that you cannot really see or feel.

So I came up with an idea of a room where you can feel the wind without using any wind but just using light and shadow.

When I started playing with polarizing film I noticed that if I have polarized-film flowers and a spotlight with another polarizing film in front and moved it, you don’t have to change the power of light to change the amount of shadow cast on the floor.

This is interesting because usually when you want more shadow you need more light, and viceversa.

In this case the shadow is not really affected by the light, so by using this technique we ended up with 17.000 flowers all in a specific position and direction: they had to be horizontal to create this landscape, and every single flower has a different height.

The idea started July last year but we actually did tons of tests in Tokyo and construction took two full months!

We arrived here in Milan in February and there were more than 20 designers working here. It feels strange that we have to dismantle it in less than 7 days, but I think it’s the magic of the Salone. “ ………. Oki Sato



We glued every single metal stick by hand and we produced the panels in Japan with laser-cut holes of 0.5 mm or else they would bend.

Then everything is made with paper so that the overlapping is seamless: if we had used paint it would have clogged the wholes, so in the end we used paper. It’s like a huge architectural model.

For the taller flowers we used 0.7 mm metal sticks, so they wouldn’t bend.

We did so many tests, it was crazy.

And is a pity that not so many people noticed the shadows moving.” ………………Oki Sato



When I want to tell a story, the object that is in front should not stand out too much, therefore I don’t want much decoration or something that distracts from the story behind it.

It’s something I think about almost every day: doing too less is too less, doing too much is too much. Finding a good balance is one of the most important things a designer should do. It’s very difficult. “ ……… Oki Sato



The simplest ideas are often the hardest to realize. “ ………….. Oki Sato



I don’t think that special moments create special ideas: it’s boring moments that do “ ……………. Oki Sato


Tenoha Milan,

Via Vigevano 18

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