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Trim this 3D-printed bonsai tree by hand, just like a real one

Design house Nendo plans to bring boutique plastic bonsai to Japanese crowdfunding sites, then the world.
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Bonsai trees are cool. But Nendo is cooler. Pair the Japan-based design studio with a future-centric baby tree, and you've got something. As phone carrier Softbank launched its own crowdfunding site, amid a sea of products we've already heard about, the design firm's Creative Director Oki Sato took to the stage with something actually intriguing: a plastic bonsai tree that you can prune -- or even print a finished article.

The pitch remains pretty broad (and there's not even funding site for the project just yet), but it looks like you'd be able to choose your base -- see the selection above -- and it'll come with cross-knit network of plastic lattices. You can then trim to your Confucius heart's desires. Not so gifted at arbory? There will also be a companion app that allow you to digitally design the end result, which you can send to a 3D printer to get it made. Naturally, you could also replicate any beautiful creations other bonsai artists make. But that's not all that zen, now, is it?

Crucially, Nendo is a well-respected design office with a broad remit, including interior design, tech products and more -- which is probably why it looks so damn magical for a plastic tree. This is one of three ideas the company's announced for its Design of Things (DoT) platform -- this is what is tying into Softbank's crowdfunding site, Plus Style. Unfortunately, there's no concrete ideas of how much the bonsai concept will cost -- or when I'll be able to prune away at plastic. New crowdfunding site, same old problems.

Plastic bonsai tree you can trim. From #nendo. 💕💕💕

A photo posted by MT (@thtmtsmth) on

Mat once failed an audition to be the Milkybar Kid, an advert creation that pushed white chocolate on gluttonous British children. Two decades later, having repressed that early rejection, he moved to Japan, learned the language, earned his black belt in Judo and returned to UK, and soon joined Engadget's European team. After a few years leading Engadget's coverage from Japan, reporting on high-tech toilets and robot restaurants as Senior Editor, he now heads up our UK bureau in London.

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