A major force in contemporary design, nendo has introduced a wholly original language of radical simplicity, poetic metaphor, and lightness of touch. Blending traditional Japanese arts and crafts, folklore and legacy with material and technological innovation, the studio’s malleability of typology, reference, material and form is encapsulated by the studio’s name: nendo being the Japanese word for clay.
Oki Sato (b. 1977) founded nendo and established their first office in Tokyo in 2002. Canadian-born Sato studied at Tokyo Gakugei Oizumi Junior High School and Waseda University Senior High School, then graduated from the Department of Architecture, School of Science and Engineering from Waseda University in 2000. Since their establishment, nendo’s prolific multidisciplinary practice has encompassed architecture, product, graphic and industrial design–collaborating with brands such as Baccarat, Tod’s, Tag Heuer, Jill Sander, Walt Disney and Coca-Cola.
For their first collaboration with the gallery, ghost stories (2009), nendo designed a dreamlike interior for forty of their acclaimed Cabbage Chairs (2009). The second collaboration, 50 Manga Chairs (2016), was first shown at a historical Romanesque basilica in Milan, then immersed in an audio-visual installation in Friedman Benda’s white box gallery in New York, and most recently as part of the NGV Triennial (2017-2018) at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.
Throughout their career, nendo has received numerous awards and accolades, including the ‘Red Dot Design Award’ in Germany in 2008, Wallpaper* Magazine’s ‘Designer of the Year’ in 2012, and the Iconic Design Award ‘Interior Designer of the Year’ in 2015.
nendo has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions including their retrospective Invisible Outlines (2017) at the CID Grand-Hornu in Belgium and recently the National Gallery of Victoria presented Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds (2018-2019), a groundbreaking dialogue between nendo’s immersive spatial installations and the work of Dutch artist M. C. Escher.
Works by nendo are included in the permanent collections of such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, NY; Design Museum, Holon, Israel; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis Museum of Arts, IN; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; M+ Museum, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; Musée des Art Décoratifs, Paris; Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY; Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Triennale Design Museum, Milan and Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
nendo is based in Tokyo, Japan.