From a distance, these chairs look like simple wooden objects. Get up close, though, and you'll struggle to tell quite what they're made of: expensive oak or cheap OSB laminate board?

The reason is simple. The designer, Nendo, takes timber surfaces and prints a second grain onto the furniture. In some cases, the effect makes it incredibly tough to work out exactly what the chair is made from; on others it makes it hard to tell in which way the grain truly flows. Check out the example below. Nendo explains:

'[For one] design, we scanned the wood's surface then printed the same pattern back onto the wood at another angle. We also experimented with other materials, replacing the seat base with OSB laminate board for one chair and printing a marble pattern onto the wood for another. Thanks to printing technology we could make fine adjustments like the scale, density and colors over and over, bringing out the charm and attraction of natural materials from a variety of angles.'


The chairs were first unveiled at Milan Design Week 2014. It's not currently clear if they'll go into production. [Nendo via Design Boom]