Known for playful, cutting-edge designs that transform everyday items into the extraordinary, architect Oki Sato and his Tokyo- and Milan-based design firm, Nendo, are no strangers to tackling social issues. There’s the non-inflatable soccer ball that addresses poverty in sports, and a combination reusable pump and paper carton that seeks to reduce plastic use. But with one of its latest design projects, Petit Market, Nendo is turning its attention to creating a modern version of the mujinhanbaijo, or unmanned farm stand.

“I think it is very interesting that unattended sales booths have existed in Japan for a long time,” Sato says, “but that there seems to be a new need for them in this day and age. I was also fascinated by the fact that this was an item that had never been designed before, and I felt that there was a high possibility that the power of design could bring out its potential.”

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