10 years on, the design studio headed by Oki Sato continues to capture the imagination. We see what it has in store for 2012.
7 February, 2012
In a short span of 10 years, nendo has emerged as a compelling example of new generation Japanese design.
Under the direction of its founder, Oki Sato, the award-winning and highly prolific studio has remained true to the objectives that have served it well since day one: to reconstitute everyday objects in a way that is easy to understand, and give everyone who encounter them a ’!’ moment.
farming-net collection of lamps
“The firm’s approach is the same as when we started”, says Sato, “Flexible for everything, like nendo, a Japanese word for free-forming clay.”
At present, nendo is busy with 200 projects, and despite the mind-boggling number, Sato says that “each one is unique”. It simply involves “thinking about design 24 hours a day” and “working all the time”.
Of note, its “sculptural farming-net” collection at Carpenters Workshop Gallery made from heat-forming agricultural nets. Ordinarily used to cover fruits and vegetables, the material is strong but very flexible, and light enough so the objects float gently in the breeze.
Then in “object dependencies”, nendo makes us pause and rethink the once-unquestioned relationship between furniture and object. The collection comprises pieces of ‘weak furniture’ that cannot stand independently. Objects are added to make them structurally sound, while the accumulation of objects also produces other effects: it can change the angle of light cast from a lamp, or expand a bookshelf.
Sato says the studio is continually inspired and spurred on by clients’ expectations, and the project that gives them greatest satisfaction is always “the most recent work”.
nendo will be presenting their latest collections for galleries during Milan design week and word has it, may also be making a showing in Singapore, though Sato says details have yet to be confirmed.
Top image: Oki Sato holding a chair model from the thin black line collection.
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