Rio Kobayashi is a self-taught designer and maker, based in East London. Kobayashi moved from Japan to Austria at 18 and completed a three-year apprenticeship in cabinet making at Wetscher in Tyrol. This introduction to the furniture industry sparked his interest in luxury design. Kobayashi was shortlisted for the Milano Design Award 2016 for his exhibition concept Back Ahead – New Austrian Design Perspectives, with only 16 out of 600 events making the shortlist.
‘I see myself as a designer with the ability to translate ideas straight into a material reality – it’s basically craftsmanship, my passion lies with artful craftsmanship,’ he says.