Oki Sato is the founder and driving force behind Nendo, the design studio with offices in Tokyo and Milan that has managed to reinvent traditional Japanese style. Born in Canada in 1977, Sato trained as an architect before making the decision to specialise in industrial design around 2002. He has been recognised with multiple awards for his take on the harmony and simplicity of Japanese design. In this interview, Sato explains his second collaboration with GAN: the popular Aram collection of multi-purpose stools and tables Aram. Keep reading to discover their story.
When did your collaboration with GAN begin?
Our paths crossed in 2012.
How did you get the idea of this collection?
This collection of stools and low tables is based on a traditional Indian furniture technique of weaving metal wires around a metal frame. The spacing between the wires is gradually widened, creating a gradation effect. It is a design created through a small change to an existing technique.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am like a spinning top in constant motion, like a fish that would die if it didn’t keep swimming. If I focus on only one or two projects, I can only think about one or two projects. When I start thinking about working on 400 projects, it relaxes me.
Could you illustrate your design philosophy?
It is all about giving people a “small moment”. There are so many small moments hidden in our everyday. But we don’t recognize them. And even when we do recognize them, we tend to unconsciously reset our minds and forget what we’ve seen.
But we believe these small moments are what make our days so interesting, so rich. That’s why we want to reconstitute the everyday by collecting and reshaping them into something that’s easy to understand.
Awarded with the Designer of the Year by British magazine Wallpaper, Oki Sato’s creations can be seen in the most prestigious museums like the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA), the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris or the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.