“The more ideas I think of, the more ideas I come up with. It is like breathing or eating.”
To celebrate their 70th Anniversary, renowned Japanese door and furniture manufacturer Abe Kogyo turned to Oki Sato of the multi-award winning design studio Nendo to create seven doors; doors which shake up our perceptions of these taken-for-granted aspects of our lives.
Sato has been called the 21st century’s most ingenious designer, with creations ranging from furniture with the softness of rolls of paper to metallic lamps which unfold organically like flowers.
“I was sitting in a cafe by myself, which I usually do on the weekends, having a glass of iced tea. The ice started melting, and then it moved and made that sound—do you know what I mean? Like when the ice starts to slide. It made that sound and I started thinking, ‘Couldn’t I design something that would move or change according to a change of temperature?’
“Then I remembered there was a metal, ‘shape-memory alloy,’ and if I could set the alloy’s position according to the temperature of the lightbulb, I could make a lamp that would ‘bloom’ when the lightbulb changed temperature. It was very natural, and it wasn’t inspired from the material itself—the story was there first, and then I found materials that would match the story.”
In a career that has taken him from his birthplace in Toronto to his current residence of Tokyo, Sato has won international awards in Germany, Italy, the U.K. the U.S.A. and France as well as Japan, and his collections grace establishments from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Center Pompidou in Paris to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
The original meaning of Nendo is “modelling clay,” and Sato’s philosophy is to bring such stripped-down simplicity, malleability and renewal to all of his concepts. This fresh and flexible approach has led to a thrilling series of doors which playful challenge our sensibilities.
Powered and wired using Abe Kogyo’s electronic locking technology, this door integrates lighting function on both sides.
How many children would like to have their own door to match their own size? This adorable concept developed from Abe Kogyo’s preschool and nursery range of fittings.
Have you ever wanted to let more light in, more air in, communicate across more rooms, or simply see who’s knocking your door? Based on sliding screen technology, this is yet another simple yet functional design twist to the humble door.
An internal magnetic sheet transforms the plain space of a door into a creative canvass for storage solutions. From adding dust bins to flower pots, trays to containers, the user can now use their door in a whole new way; literally an extra dimension of function.
Kumiko is a latticework method used in creating traditional Japanese interior screen doors and partitions. It is a delicate process of assembly without nails. Inspired by both this ancient (Asuka Era, 600-700 AD) technique and the modern industrial manufacturing capabilities of Age Kogyo, this door is striking juxtaposition of classical and modern Japan.
Another design changing our ideas of what a door can be. This door showcases a variety of technological innovations that ensure the stability of shelves and frames and allow smooth opening; successfully blurring the distinction between wall space and portal space.
A stunning idea which transmutes all conceptions of interiors and layout, this door has the additional practical benefit of greater wheelchair access.
Showcased during Milan Design Week, all of these doors can be viewed at Nendo’s website. Thanks to Oki Sato’s mercurial strip-and-reboot philosophy and Abe Kogyo’s decades of industrial expertise and innovation, the humble door just gained seven new dimensions.
Images Courtesy of Akihiro Yoshida/Nendo
Featured photo credit: http://www.nendo.jp via decotrending.files.wordpress.com