It doesn’t get much more simple than chopsticks. A pair of finally crafted pieces of wood that allow you to nimbly eat. If you would have asked me if it was possible to make a better, or perhaps more innovative pair of chopsticks, I’d probably so no, that they’ve been refined to their basic essence. Nendo on the other hand has found not one but two new ways of innovating on the basic design of chopsticks.
The first is the Rassen chopsticks, which are milled from one piece of wood, creating a chopstick that appears to be one form but easily separates into two pieces to eat. It’s quite a poetic, beautiful form that feels so very Japanese to me. It seems to me like chopsticks should have been made this way from the beginning, though I don’t think they had multi-axis CNC milling machines to easily create pieces like this.
The second innovation is the Kamiachi chopsticks which have embedded magnets in the wide ends, allowing the two chopsticks to snap together into one piece. The magnets are place towards the outside of each chopstick so that the chopsticks don’t come together accidentally while someone is using them to eat. Again, this is an extremely simple idea that makes a lot of practical sense, keeping your chopsticks together, especially if you travel with them.
They’re also extremely elegant looking when fitted together. They way they nestle together (as you can see above) is beautifully crafted and considered, and which is thanks to Hashikura Matsukan, a manufacturing company in Obama, Japan who’s been making lacquered chopsticks for four centuries, who Nendo worked with on this project.
You can see more of Nendo’s chopsticks designs by clicking here.
Photos by Akihiro Yoshida