Nendo was born in Toronto, Canada. He studied in Tokyo where he graduated from the Department of Architecture, School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, as the top student in 2000.
In 2017 at Euroluce he discussed his new collaboration with FLOS with two brand new products Gaku and Sawaru.
When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?
In 2002 I visited Milan’s Salone for the first time, and I remember being excited about the freedom and range of the designs shown in the exhibitions. Then and there I decided to create nendo. I am humbled by the journey I have experienced in my career since then, but my 12 year-old self will always be disappointed that he didn’t get the chance to be a pet store owner.
What is artificial light for you?
Artificial light should complement natural light, like wine to a delicious meal.
Why do you like working with Flos?
Working with Flos is like working with family. Sometimes during meetings, when excited, Piero Gandini will open a bottle of champagne, just like in a family dinner. This can sometime lead the conversation to a positive direction, and sometimes you just end up with a hangover.. This thrilling process and warm relationship is part of the excitement working with Flos.
What is the next object you’d like to design?
I wish to design something that I can’t think of. If I can already imagine it, then it is less exciting for me. This is why I am always happy to hear Flos’s proposals as they constantly manage to surprise me and ignite my imagination.
Is there a great designer, artist or musician you regard as a point of reference for your work?
The Japanese Manga series Doraemon has always inspired me in its ability to combine intuitive gadget designs with fun and friendly graphic appearance.
Do you like to put a little irony in your objects?
Definitely. I think design is supposed to have an effect on our feelings. It can be done by using nostalgia, humor, surprise and yes, even irony. They are all like spices in cooking: meant to enrich the flavor.
Where is the best sushi served in Milan?
Sushi in Japan, Carpaccio in Milan.