Photograph by Takumi Ota



Oki Sato/Nendo

It's a surprise to find only one designer in the top 20 of our Hot List. We always knew that architecture was more popular with readers than design, but we didn't realise by quite how much. It's less of a surprise to find Nendo, the Japanese studio headed by Oki Sato, at the top of the design pile.

The outfit is the most productive and versatile of any we write about: we've recently taken to describing them as "prolific design studio Nendo" at the start of each story about, in recognition of the fact that we write about them so often.

In fact, of our entire Hot List, Nendo has the third highest number of active posts over the past year with 198, behind only Zaha Hadid and Milan Design Week.

But this is not favouritism: whenever a Nendo project comes in, we always ask ourselves whether we can really justify publishing yet another one.

Yet the quality and ingenuity of its work is usually so high, we usually decide that yes, we can.

The past year saw Nendo working on everything from slippers and notepads to a giant department store in Bangkok, as well as countless other objects.

With the latter project, the studio is following a trend that emerged over the past year, which has seen fellow designers including Thomas Heatherwick and Dror increasingly move into the realm of architecture.

With ever larger work, we would not be surprised to see Nendo climb even higher up our Hot List next year, and knock a few more architects off their perches.

Top posts:

1. Nendo designs 50 chairs based on Japanese manga comics

2. Nendo reimagines Bangkok department store as a new concept for retail

3. Nendo designs cone-shaped stackable slippers

4. Nendo's sketch-like Border tables fit the contours of a Tokyo gallery

5. Nendo's expandable Nest shelves are embedded with carbon fibre

Tag: Nendo