Tokyo, Japan

Born in Toronto, Oki Sato is Chief Designer of the multi-disciplinary design firm Nendo. Sato moved to Japan as a child, and earned his Masters in Architecture from Waseda University in 2002. While on a chance post-graduation visit to the Milan Furniture Fair, Sato was inspired by the freedom and energy surrounding design, and he cofounded Nendo later that same year.

Named for the Japanese word for “clay”, Nendo embraces its namesake's flexibility in both the types of projects it takes on as well as their execution, which ranges from handmade pieces to 3D-printed objects and environments. Nendo combines the minimalism and functional grace characteristic of traditional Japanese design with a lightheartedness and humor that reflects the country’s pop culture, as well as more western influences. The firm, which has offices in Tokyo, Milan, and Indonesia, is highly prolific, working on over 220 projects at any given time for a client list that include the likes of Issey Miyake, Cappellini, Lexus, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. In 2012, the firm was named Designer of the Year by both Wallpaper* and Elle Décor magazines.