Nendo’s designs are the expression of a delicate intention and they form part of everyday life. He invents simple, discreet, light and silent objects. Like Shiro Kuramata in the eighties, he sets up an imperceptible relationship between form and function, one that is almost invisible. The shelves, and the way they are in the space, evoke Japanese « shoji » the light partitions that slide and organise space in the traditional Japanese house with a calligraphy that plays with light and shadow. The way the shelves are located in the middle of the room, the way the vertical is cut through by the horizontal, makes them a real work of art, a kinetic piece animated by diffracted light and optical fragmentation. This forms a visual creation based on an open scenario that the owner composes with the addition of objects and his or her own presence. The concept is based on repetition and arrhythmia, geometry in space whose graphic intersection points catch the eye. We proclaim a new element in the visual arts: kinetic rhythms, the essential shapes of real time (Naum Gabo realist manifesto 1920). Nendo rewrites a page of the history of art and design and with Scattered shelves, he has managed the improbable fusion between the spirits of the ancients and the avant-garde.
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.