Static Bubbles
21st Jan 2012 - 3rd Mar 2012
Monday - Saturday
10am - 7pm
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
54 Rue De La Verrerie 75004

Bearable lightness and other thoughts on nendo on the occasion of ‘Static Bubbles’, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Paris, January 2012.

This year, Tokyo-based design firm nendo is celebrating its tenth anniversary by doing what nendo does best: quietly but surely going about their work. This may not sound like a way to mark a successful decade, but the fruits of nendo’s labour were anything but ordinary. For nendo, simply ‘getting things done’ means a bevy of significant exhibitions this year and last, including a retrospective at flagship Tokyo design space Axis Gallery, museum acquisitions (the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago), new products for Milan, a major Canadian museum exhibition design and interiors in Japan, China, Italy and the UK. All of these are testing the firm’s distinctive sensibility in new areas, against new constraints.

In other words, nendo is doing something exciting, and the world is taking note. But would you know this from founder Sato Oki and team’s quiet demeanour, or from the deceptive simplicity of their work ? Perhaps not, but again, that is entirely the point. It is this combination of thoughtfulness and caprice, hidden within minimalism of form and an unusual attention to process and detail, that make nendo what they are, and that characterizes the new work shown here at Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

Selection of Works

Based in Tokyo and Milan, Nendo is the name of the studio founded by Oki Sato. Born in Canada in 1977, he earned an architecture degree from Waseda University in Tokyo in 2002. The studio has created many award-winning products and its conceptual designs have been produced by Cappellini, Guzzini, Oluce, Tod’s, Cartier, Puma, Camper, Starbucks, Lexus, and BoConcept. 

He is known for The Cabbage Chair, an answer to the challenge posed by fashion designer Issey Miyake to create a futuristic object that would convey how man will live in the twenty-first century. Handcrafted from the folded paper rolls used in Miyake’s own pleat-making process, the chair makes use of a product that would otherwise be thrown away. The chair is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Les Arts Décoratifs museum in Paris. It was also included in the inaugural exhibition at the Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv in fall 2009. 

The studio has received many awards, including the Good Design Award, the German Design Award, and the Elle Deco International Design Award. In 2012, it was named designer of the year by Wallpaper* magazine. Sato has participated in Milan Design Week and created a Rain Bottle installation at Maison & Objet 2014. 

/ Good Design Award, Japan
/ Japan Commercial Environmental Design Association (JCD) Award Gold Prize
/ Japan Interior Architects, Designer’s Association (JID) Award Grand Prize
/ I.D. Annual Design Review Best Product
/ Red Dot Design Award, Germany
/ iF Products Design Award, Germany
/ Furniture Design Award Grand Prize, Singapore
/ Wallpaper Best Domestic Design
/ Compasso d’Oro Honorable Mention, Italy
/ Elle Decor Internation Design Award, Best Young talent Japan Nomination
/ Good Design Award, Award Winner
/ Tokyo Designers Week, Design Premio
/ Cuusoo ‘Shitsunai’ Design Competition, Grand Prix Award

/ Barbara J. Bloemink, The State of Things. Design and the 21st Century. Israel:
Design Museum Holon, 2010

/ The state of things. Design and the 21st century. Israel: design museum holon, 2010. Illustrated
p. 126

/ Thomas, Amanda and Yasue Miyagi, eds. Nendo. Cologne: daab, 2008
/ 21_21 Design sight. Xxist century man. Japan: 21_21 design sight, 2008 Illustrated pgs. 82-85.

21_21 Design Sight/Issey Miyake, Tokyo, Japan. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York.Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal. Design Museum Holon, Holon,Israel.IsraelMuseum, Jerusalem,Israel. High Museum of Art, Arlanta. Lake St. Louis Historical Society, Montreal, Canada. MondriaanFoundation, Netherlands. Musée des Art Decoratifs, Paris, France. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.Centre Pompidou, Paris, France. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy.Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. Denver Museum of Art, Denver. Museum of Modern Art,New York, NY. Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY. Museum of Fine Art, Houston.
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