Oki Sato believes design should be more than merely functional—it should be emotional, too. In 2002, the Japanese architect and product designer founded nendo design studio, which creates contemporary, human-centric designs that evoke feelings like nostalgia and humor. “Nendo” means modeling clay in Japanese, a reference to how the studio molds its designs to suit different clients and contexts. Since then, nendo has infused its playful, minimalist style into the design of everything from chocolate bars and high-end furniture to major architecture projects like the Tenri Station Plaza CoFuFun in Japan. History often inspires Sato’s work, including his design for the NJP lamp collection for Louis Poulsen, which reimagines the classic 1930s Anglepoise task lamp using 21st century LED technology. Sato’s thoughtful designs have earned him and his studio industry-wide praise; he has been recognized as “Designer of the Year” by Wallpaper magazine, Elle Deco International and Maison & Objet Paris.