With a marked Asian influence, Oki Sato's functional designs stand out for their elegance and simplicity. The talented designer delves in a variety of media, from computer mouses, lamps and iPad supports to furniture, crockery and even buildings.
By J.M. Towers
""My designs are very simple, but not cold. They all require a touch of grace and warmth". This is how Oki Sato, one of the founders of the Japanese Studio Nendo, defines his creative achievements. The company he helped to establish has offices in Tokyo and Milan, two of the world’s most relevant centers for art and design. Although Oki Sato dedicates his talent and creativity to various design fields, he is also a professor at Showa University and the Kuwasaka School of Design, both in the Japanese capital. This young Canadian-Japanese artist has to his credit a magnificent collection of prestigious awards and accolades, including Designer of the Year at the Elle Decor International Design Awards in 2012 and, more recently he was selected as the Guest of Honor at the 2013 Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.
Sato’s amazing, functional pieces are characterized by simplicity and practicality. Through a wide range of innovative ideas, what sets him apart is his vision of reality, informed by simplicity, everyday elegance and a keen sense of rationality. More on architecture and design.
Nendo Studio has launched a multitude ofl award-winning projects. In their search for fascination and knowledge, the Japanese label has created pieces that illustrate the perfect harmony that should exist between human beings and the objects that surround them. Their designs have been produced for a wide range of manufacturers, including Capelin, De Padova, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Lexus, Puma, Camper, Hermès, Issey Miyake, Louis Vuitton and Cartier.
Sato’s portfolio for Nendo includes products that are as varied, as they are dissimilar, from a computer mouse, lamps and stands for iPad to furniture, crockery, and even buildings. Two of his most emblematic pieces are the Bird-Apartment (2012) and the Cabbage Chair (2008). The first is a tree house located in the Ando Momofuku Center in the Japanese city of Komoro, a small construction for one person and 78 birds. The Cabbage Chair, in turn, commissioned by Issey Miyake, consists of an original and ecological chair made of recycled paper.
Recently, the artist has given a new look to Camper Shoes, which are more colorful due to the inclusion of laces and elastic knots on the surface. Sato has also designed cutlery for the brand Luckywood, which stand out for the primitive look of their design. The office in the shape of a box he created for the firm Spicebox, open on one side and with different sizes and finishes, is one of his most acclaimed projects.
Some of the most important works by Oki Sato are now displayed in the permanent collections of prestigious museums such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. ■
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