Each year, Paris trade show organizer Maison and Objet invites a studio or designer to showcase their work at the fair, bolstering their brand by catching the interest of thousands of show-goers. This January, Maison & Objet has named design firm Nendo, spearheaded by senior designer Oki Sato, 2015's Designer of the Year.
In Japanese, Nendo means “modeling clay,” a term the eponymous design studio embodies with its focus on flexibility, creative potential and childlike simplicity.
Work by nendo and Oki Sato
Though born in Toronto, Sato graduated in 2002 from Waseda University in Tokyo. The same year, he founded Nendo with 15 colleagues he had met in the classroom. Together, they carved out a design philosophy and crafted a minimalist vision for their first exhibition, “Streeterior,” presented in Tokyo and Milan in 2003.
Design awards came in from all sides, and Nendo took home the Good Design Award, German Design Award, and Elle Deco International Design Award, among others.
By 2012, Nendo was named Designer of the Year by Wallpaper Magazine and its work landed commissions from major brands like Cappellini, Moroso, DePadova, Starbucks, Puma, Camper and BoConcept.
The company’s specialty includes furniture that's only balanced when items are placed on them, with quirks like blown glass bubbles set into a metal tables and overall ability to reconfigure space and shape.
The brand can be discovered at the next edition of Maison and Objet (Jan. 23 – 27) in the Chocolatexture lounge, which the studio designed. Previous winners of the award include Tom Dixon, Philippe Nigro and Kenneth Cobonpue.
Stay tuned for more highlights from the upcoming show.