Nendo – blurring the boundaries between the bathroom and living room

The architect Oki Sato is the man behind the playful, humorous designs from the Japanese design studio Nendo. “My designs are always sleek and minimalist – but never cold,” explains the Canadian-born architect. “I always start with the stories behind the object.” This then leads to moments of awe – as Nendo likes to play with boundaries and loves those little moments of initial surprise. At the same time, the products should be intuitively understandable.

Nendo gives a loose interpretation of established objects and positions them in a surprising context. This also applies to the LampShower developed together with Axor, which combines light and water in an unusual way. The boundaries between the bathroom and other living areas are blurred. As seen in the ShowerProducts designed for Axor, Nendo works with transparency and a range of visual effects. A design principle of lightness and humor is combined with a refined use of shapes and material.

The designer and architect Oki Sato is one of the shooting stars on the international design scene. Born in 1977 in Toronto, he founded the Nendo studio in Tokyo in 2002. Expansion to Milan followed in 2005, before Oki Sato was named “Designer of the Year” by the international style magazines Wallpaper and Elle in 2012. The list of renowned brands who Nendo works for reads like a who’s who of the interior design industry. Orders for furniture manufacturers such as Kartell, Cappellini and dePadova, lamps (Foscarini), tableware (Baccarat) and everyday objects are expanded by interior design concepts. With this in mind, Nendo designed showrooms for international brands such as Puma and Louis Vuitton.

Oki Sato from Nendo.

Oki Sato, the creative mind behind Nendo.