OKI SATO—DESIGNS THAT FLY


Toronto-born, now Tokyo-based, designer, Oki Sato describes his life and the priorities of his inventions as “boring;” but don’t believe that for a second. He does indeed love routine, repeated patterns of activity and bare-bones, infrastructural-salient products. But the intensification and panorama derivable from that regime is earth-shattering, despite being very quiet.
This promotion-set for Lipton Tea resorts to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to evoke the elemental eeriness of the mundane situation of dining. Its Alice in Wonderland link signals an endeavor to push Surrealist energies away from its tendency to bombast, and toward its pristine thrills.

This pop-up Starbucks venue in Tokyo comes in the form of a library where the customer chooses a favorite book which directs him to one of nine coffee choices, corresponding with the energies of the narratives. This “Starbucks Espresso Journey” envelops the buyer in a primal intent sustaining the beverage.

This larchwood bathtub does not aim to hit you with Brancusi lines and extra-sybaritic dimensions. It stages a speed bump within mundane meandering, a little shock in being face-to-face with the elemental entryway to bathing. Looking back to a Japanese tradition of public bathing, it works toward recognition of the “notional reality” of the design, its basis of frisson. Sato adds, “A silent but comfortable place that enables you to communicate with yourself, just like the traditional Japanese tea room.”

 

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