12 Amazing Things The Designer Of Nendo Can't Live Without

Everything on this young Japanese designer's list of must-haves is as innovative as his own work.

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Takumi Ota

Lamps shaped like scoops of ice cream. A chronograph watch with grandfather clock-style hands. Tables and stools that resemble abstract "Winnie-the-Pooh" char­acters (sweaters included). The ingenious designs of spring from the mind of founder , who reimagines everyday objects with charm and wit.

"Sometimes when you make something too minimal, it becomes a little cold," says Sato, who juggles hundreds of ideas at once. "I like my designs to be friendly." Sato trained as an architect but longed to "transcend genres."

Lately, he has returned to large­-scale projects, including a train station near Kyoto, Japan, which opens this spring. The workaholic designer says he finds inspiration in routine: "If you repeat things every day, you notice the small differences."

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1 Camper Shoes
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Emily Kate Roemer/Studio D

I've worn these since I was a student. I'll sometimes buy five or six pairs of the same or model at once.

2 Connel Coffee
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Daici Ano

I drink four to five cups of coffee a day. Multiple visits to a café became bothersome, so I built one in my office named , with views of the Akasaka Palace. 

3 Milan
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Getty

Milan is where I came to realize the possibilities of design. I opened an office there in 2005. I still visit almost every month, and it never ceases to feel welcoming.

4 Sony Noise-Canceling Earphones
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Great for when I need to on coming up with ideas and sketching. 

5 Soba Noodles
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Gallery Stock

Every day I eat the same noodles for lunch, in the same seat at the same restaurant. This little ritual gives my brain a rest. 

6 Cartier Tank Watch
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Recently, I was invited to be on TV to discuss watches. To prepare, I spent three days looking at watches. Before I knew it, I had bought myself a vintage . 

7 Muji Memo Pads
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I've gone through hundreds of , and I'm still no good at sketching.

8 Ichigo Daifuku
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Getty

I have a thing for sweets. "No more than three sweets per day" was the first rule I put in place at Nendo. This strawberry-filled confection is my top pick. 

9 Incisa Chair By De Padova
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My initial impression was, What an , but over time I found myself captivated. Several years ago I bought one for my home, which tends to be mostly bare with a few Nendo prototypes. 

10 Suntory Toki Whisky
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I enjoy a or sake at the end of the day. The only downside is that as I get comfortable, ideas pour in and I stay awake until morning working. 

11 Venex Recovery Wear
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The are supposed to relax you, so I bought some to use as pajamas. Honestly, I didn't notice a difference, but my dog began sleeping in bed with me. Apparently, the effect works for dogs. 

12 Doraemon
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Alamy

Each time the main character of this manga series ends up in a bind, some intuitively designed gadget comes to his rescue. 

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