There are few design studios worldwide that can deliver projects of such consistently high quality as the Japanese studio Nendo. Expertly melding architecture and interior, product, and graphic design with sculpture and installation, Nendo’s work is both impressively clear and intriguingly sophisticated. The functionality and unobtrusiveness of their projects is in line with established Japanese design traditions, yet their lightheartedness and humor is also inspired by the country’s pop culture. In this context, the name Nendo, Japanese for modeling clay, is indicative of their skill at playing with the fundamental properties of objects.
The studio, which was founded by Oki Sato in Tokyo in 2002, has now firmly established itself on the global design scene and routinely wins international awards. The magazine Wallpaper*, for example, celebrated Nendo as “Designer of the Year 2012.”
Nendo’s work has been shown at a range of galleries and museums around the world, at design events and festivals, such as the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, and in commissioned projects for notable clients such as Bisazza and Cappellini.
This comprehensive monograph presents a striking selection of Nendo’s astonishingly multifaceted work including vibrant store concepts, mystically inspired exhibition spaces, sculptural furniture pieces, home accessories, and design objects. Regardless of how diverse the included styles appear to be, they all give the reader a sense of where the future of design is heading.
“Nendo is definitely one of the best examples of contemporary Japanese design and architecture. While his designs make his historical roots very clear, what differentiates him most from other important modern Japanese creatives is his hyperbolic quest for both synthesis and overall project simplification. Nendo creates pieces that are often a real challenge to produce, objects that almost vanish into immateriality, but still always manage to surprise us and make us laugh.”
– Giulio Cappellini
“Oki Sato is a designer who thrives on creating thoughtful, whimsical, yet provocative work. His interest in creating work with an integral logic, developed with an acute attention to striking the right balance between the formal and functional elements of a design, yet with an interest in rethinking typologies of form and function with work that at the same time confounds expectation, aligns him with some of the great designers from Japan, including Shiro Kurumata and Naoto Fukusawa. Yet the playful quality of his work and his interest in connecting with the user through his designs is reminiscent of designers such as Piero and Achille Castiglioni, as well as the witty designs produced by Droog that seek to respond to the time and place in which they were made.”
– Zoë Ryan (Curator of Architecture and Design, The Art Institute of Chicago)