If you’re familiar with Nendo’s work, in person Oki Sato was exactly as you’d expect – quiet, understated and incredibly humble – here are some of my favourite quotes…
“I’m trying to think about things that are in between things. It’s like when you’re looking the stars, everybody is looking at the stars and they think: “That’s so beautiful.” But what I’m trying to see is the darkness, the sky that is making the stars look nice, so I’m trying to design the sky itself, the darkness.”
[In answer to the question “What’s the most important thing to know about you?”] “Nothing! I shouldn’t exist, I am like air or water. It should be the objects that do all the talking. There’s nothing much for you to know about me.”
“I worked with fashion designer Issey Miyake on a project called the Cabbage Chair, and he said: “The difference between art and design is that with design you have to make people happy in the end. Art – you can do whatever you want, but with design you have to make people happy.” It’s a very simple thing, but that was really inspiring for me.”
“When I was a student studying architecture, I was taught to see things from a very high point of view. So when I designed a cup for instance, I had to see the city first, and then think about how the building should be designed, and then think about how the room should be designed, and thinking about the furniture and then… therefore I will design this cup – that was how I had to think about it. Now I’m thinking totally the opposite way – I start from very small emotions, small ideas and let it grow into furniture and interiors and buildings and hopefully into cities.”
Further reading for the especially geeky:
Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.
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