Japanese studio Nendo is one of the world’s most respected, winning numerous awards for their joyful, uncluttered designs. Oki Sato, the studio's founder, shares his experience of Salone del Mobile with LUXOS.
What does Salone mean to you?
Nendo works 2014-15 © Takumi Ota
When I went for the first time in 2002, seeing designers playfully create both products and installations had a big impact on me. In Japan, people who have studied architecture, like me, usually only design architecture; interior designers design interiors, and product designers design product. But I wanted to design more flexibly, transcend genres. So I decided to set up a studio and named it ‘Nendo,’ which means Play-Doh.
What is your mission as a designer?
© Hiroshi Iwasaki
For me, the role of design is about solving things and finding new solutions. Also, it is about what kind of story you can find behind the object, whether it’s product or architecture or graphics.
How do you stay creatively inspired?
Float © Akihiro Yoshida
I’ve noticed that rooting work in everyday life really helps. If you keep on repeating things every day you notice the small differences, and I feel those small differences become my design sources in a way... Small differences hidden within the normal routine.
What is Nendo showing at Salone this year?
Nendo, 50 Manga Chairs © Kenichi Sonehara
We are going to have an installation named ‘50 manga chairs;’ 50 simple chairs with an element from manga comics.