art, decor

Q&A: Oki Sato


On a recent visit to Milan’s annual Furniture Fair, our Decor Editor Leana Schoeman got the chance to chat to Oki Sato about his latest installation for Axor.

Founder of Nendo, a design studio that’s world renowned for their innovative approach to minimalist Japanese design, Oki Sato inspired us to look at design in a new way. Here’s what he had to say.

What inspired you during the design process for this project? The idea was to remove the walls and create light and mood within a shower room, as you would do in any other room of the house. In the process, we broke down traditional boundaries within the home and created a blur between object, space and surface.

What is your key objective when designing an object? To create something that will make people connect with it on an emotional level. I always feel that design should be simple and make a person smile.

Which object would you have liked to design, and why? The paper clip - a piece of metal wire that’s not only functional, but beautifully designed.

How would you describe your everyday life? I love the routine of eating the same noodles and drinking the same coffee every day. It relaxes me. I take the dog for a walk before going directly to the office, where I design an average of four presentations a day and around 40 to 50 new objects a week. Designing is like a hobby rather than a job - it forms an integral part of my daily life. At night I prefer to work on projects, rather than go out for dinner. I will quit design the minute it starts feeling like work.

What do you find frustrating within the world of design? The need to speed up the production of new things and creating products that don’t last and need instant replacement, rather than focusing on creating things that work. It’s easy to forget that it often takes years to produce a great design that lasts.

Find out more about the Hansgrohe Axor WaterDream project.