Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti has hailed its partnership with renowned Japanese furniture maker Tendo Mokko in creating a handcrafted, lounge-like cabin for its latest QX Inspiration concept. Founded in 1940 in Japan’s Yamagata Prefecture, Tendo is one of Japan’s most respected and established furniture producers.
“Our first ideas and sketches for the interior were founded in this notion of creating a space that was more akin to a lounge or living space,” said Mie Tanaka, color design assistant manager at Infiniti. “We took advantage of the spacious layout enabled by the electric powertrain and created a furniture-like expression for every element of the interior. At the same time, we wanted to explore a Japanese sense of beauty, tying the car to our cultural roots.
“We approached Tendo with this, and, while we had our own idea about how the QX Inspiration’s ‘furniture’ could look, Tendo’s many decades of experience in wood-working and design helped us to create something really special.”
From the outset, Infiniti required the interior of the QX Inspiration to feature organic materials and subdued colors, in homage to Japan’s unique appreciation of nature and craftsmanship. Tendo and Infiniti decided upon the use of ‘sugi’, a cedar tree synonymous with Japan, for the sense of warmth attributed to its soft light grain. The sugi in the car was grown in Yamagata Prefecture.
Tendo’s artisans produced the striking woodwork found throughout the concept’s cabin, and even created matching sugi door panels, using traditional production methods, and inspired by modern Japanese interior design trends.
Adhering to a typically Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, the notion of finding beauty in imperfections, Tendo deliberately left the knot and grain of the cedar wood in place.
“The result is a beautiful, relaxing space that is rich in Japanese craftsmanship and materials,” added Tanaka. “It is unlike anything we have been able to produce before.”