Wiggle Shoji Screen, 2020

Cedar, washi (Japanese paper), various sizes

Photography by James Harris

Positive Chair, 2022

A friend approached Rio Kobayashi in the beginning of the Covid pandemic. He wanted to know whether Kobayashi would be interested in repairing an old, broken Thonet chair that he had.
The broken chair oozed with history. The friend found it on his travel in Europe. Already then it had been modified. An upper part, with hidden drawers had been added to the chair. A feature that Kobayashi kept.
The chair stayed in Kobayashi’s studio during most of the pandemic. Here, it was given quite a lot of attention by the designer, who worked on it in between other projects. In addition to repairing the chair, Kobayashi wanted to highlight its history and charm.
By sanding and chipping off parts of the chair frame, he created a fluted pattern, that at points revealed an even more elaborate pattern made by woodworms. Kobayashi also repaired the cane webbed seat and bag by individually tying together the web with coloured yarn, leaving the ends long and furry.
At the time, Kobayashi was teaching himself the art of brush making. He added several brush details to the chair, that together with the furry seat and back tells a story of an old person whose hair growth has got out of control.
With a humanistic homage to the rich history of the chair, Kobayashi managed to turn the time of the pandemic into something positive.
Photography by Angus Mill

Rorrim Rorrim Mirror, 2022

Mirror is a ubiquitous item of unique quality. I have always been intrigued by the gesture of looking at oneself in a mirror. It has become a modern ritual that we all perform religiously. Simple yet charming. During my visit in Venice, I was struck by the idea - the waterbody serves as a mirror for the city. Canal is a piece of mirror that lays horizontally, reflecting the dazzling stars during nighttime and the clear sky in the day. In this collaboration with Barbini, I am keen to highlight the poetic character of Venice by designing a mirror embedded in a glass structure built on an oak base, resembling the buildings supported by an oak column system in the canal. On the other hand, the meticulous construction and vigorous ornaments also reflect my cultural background, where the aesthetics of sacredness is much appreciated. Lastly, this piece is a secret celebration for my dream coming true as my childhood aspiration was to become a glassmaker.

Photography by Barbini Specchi Veneziani

Chiro Chiro Mobile, 2022

Chiro Chiro (チロ チロ) is a one-of-a-kind kinetic mobile that serves imagination. The playful and interactive hanging piece invites us to make time and space for ourselves in the hectic world.

The name Chiro Chiro is borrowed from Japanese expression チロ チロ, whose pronunciation resembles the sound reptiles make when flicking their tongues in and out swiftly. However, the subject of the figure remains open to interpretation. It could be a bird, an aeroplane, a flying fish, a snake, or anything else depending on our own perception.

Finely handcrafted with walnut, each piece is unique with woodgrain and tinge of its own. The delicate wings are decorated with patterns of various colours, offering an animate and enticing visual experience when flapping. An elegant play on perspectives in motion, the kinetic piece captivates us with its subtle charm of simplicity.

‘I am fond of the idea of a toy that keeps one company all the way from childhood to adulthood. A true timeless piece.’ The designer wishes to set up a delightful corner for contemplation for each owner of Chiro Chiro.

Photography by Jonathan C. L. Chan

Mikado Shelving Collection, 2021

Ash, acrylic paint, varnish, various sizes shelving

Photography by James Harris

Kaijyu Mask, 2019

Kaijyu mask at SEE:DS Gallery during LDF19 in London, UK. 2019
Photography by James Harris

Mikado Seating Collection, 2017

Ash, acrylic paint, varnish, various sizes seating

Photography by James Harris

Diary Shelf, 2021

Cherry, black calligraphy ink, various sizes

Photography by Matteo Fogale and Rio Kobayashi

Fish Table (Fatty Tuna), 2019

Oak, acrylic paint, oil, hand-painted by James Hague, 210 x 98 x 75.5cm (fin 44cm)

Photography by Onni Aho

Shoji Screen II, 2020

Cedar, washi (Japanese paper), various sizes

Photography by Matteo Fogale,

Zaru Collander, 2021

Cherry, walnut and beech, red and black ball, various sizes

Photography by Oros Design

Paper Mobile, 2018

Beech, coloured paper, 80 x 48 x 5cm

Made for Momosan Shop, London

Photography by Rio Kobayashi

Sakura, 2017

Cherry, Japanese ink, various sizes

Made for London Design Week 2017

Photography by Rio Kobayashi

Hato Vases I - III, 2018

Red cedar, Japanese calligraphy ink

Photography by James Harris

Robot Shelf 2019

Robot Shelf at SEE:DS Gallery during LDF19 in London, UK. 2019
Photography by James Harris

Chariotte Periond Shelf

Oak, acrylic paint, 142 x 242 x 40cm

Photography by James Harris

Ohana Trivet, 2021

Oak, acrylic paint, various sizes

Photograpy by James Harris

Back Ahead, 2016

At the Salone del Mobile Milano 2016, Rio Kobayashi was project leader of Georg Oeler's exhibition 'Back Ahead - New Austrian Design Perspective'.

Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Ricchione, 2013

Logo and graphic design for Riccione Architects in Innsbruck, Austria.

Photography by Stefan Oehlinger

Out to Lunch, 2015

Retail design and fabrication for Out to Lunch in Porto, Portugal.

Photography by Pedro Passos