The tools we touch and see every day are important elements that make our lives a changing point. "What kind of life tools are used to design air?" We asked Kazuo Kobayashi, owner of OUTBOUND (Kichijoji) and Roundabout (Yoyogi Uehara), who handle a variety of domestic and foreign daily necessities. The philosophy of choosing things is unraveled from the five items that Mr. Kobayashi, who has a unique aesthetic eye, has got.


Functions and effects

"Choose a living tool that designs the air of life." When I asked Kazut kobayashi, the owner of OUTBOUND and Roundabout, to do so, he prepared five items. Looking at the things lined up in front of me, the only thing that immediately imagined the application was a tape cutter. With what intentions were they chosen? "I think things have two roles. One is a visible and specific "function". The other is an abstract 'action' that is invisible to the eye," Kobayashi said.


Born in Tokyo in 1975. He spent his childhood in Australia and Singapore. After graduating from Tama Art University, he opened Roundabout, a shop in Kichijoji that handles domestic and foreign life tools (currently relocated to Yoyogi Uehara). Opened OUTBOUND in 2008. He selects products from both stores, displays the store, and plans in-store exhibitions held ten times a year. He is the author of "New Daily Necessities" (Mynavi).
Instagram @kazutokobayashi

A function is a physical aid for accomplishing a purpose. In addition to this function, Kobayashi says that the action that causes emotional reactions to the user is "action". Since 2013, he has been holding exhibitions of "action" at his own shop, asking the meaning of the action. "Even if it's the same thing, I think there are individual differences in the effects that you get from it, but I think it's also important to look at the "margins" that project something, not just the uses induced by 'use it like this.'"


If what is projected is different, naturally what is reflected is different. It is said that things take on various aspects depending on where they are placed and how they are treated, and their relationship with the users. "Koji Kumagai's earthenware may be a pickled vase for some people, or a flower vase for some. But for me, it's a pot. Because the earthenware is put on the open flame, rice is cooked by this. Before that, I used it as a

beer mug (laughs)" On the other hand, Kobayashi says that not only the idea of how to use what you have in your hand, but also just tasting the margins is a rich relationship with things. "Mori Fukui's wooden work is like a lump in the margins, so to speak. But I think it's also important to be free from it, sometimes without thinking about how to use it or what it means."


Abstract sculptures may be seen as having no raison d'erather if the art-historical context and concept are not clear, but Kobayashi has the feeling that there may be a way of thinking like an extension of ancient stone bars, which were manufacturing before the concept of art was born, or mud dumplings made in childhood. "One of E&Y's "edition HORIZONTAL" collection lines, "yours" by Yosuke Hayashi, seems to be a poster with nothing printed at first glance, but in fact, the fragrance is soaked in paper, and if it is burned to pieces, it can also be a fragrance."


It may be said that it is a product that responds to functions and action, with a lot of margins that accept how to interact with each user who has it in hand, along with a message that appeals through touch and smell rather than function.

People can't live by function alone.

Why do we stick to the action so far? "If we pursue efficiency and convenience, we may eventually only have melamine tableware and plastic bottles that will not crack even if dropped. Of course, some people may be filled with it,

but I think that rich living is how free you are to choose from layered and diverse things."Isn't it rich to listen to the "action" that can not be talked about by function alone? In other words, materially and functionally fulfilling is not necessarily richness. However, it is said that the chance that Mr. Kobayashi was interested in the one was from an industrial product with a functionalistic meaning if anything.

"When I was in junior high school, I saw a collection of works by industrial designer Luigi Colani and found out that I had a profession of designer. Perhaps the origin of my current work is that I wanted to be involved in such manufacturing."


After graduating from art university, he set up a shop and while choosing things, he became interested in handied works that felt fluctuations one by one while feeling repetitive comfort in the same standard of industrial products. The pitcher of SKRUF, designed by Ingeard Roman, may symbolize the idea that industrial products and handied goods never diverge, but are a ground-leading relationship connected by gradations.

"It looks like an industrial product, but you can feel the fluctuations of hand work one by one. Sometimes I usually use flowers, sometimes I just decorate them without putting anything in them."

Timeless, Self-evident

When he was attending an art preparatory school, Mr. Kobayashi said that every time he took a drawing class, the instructor advised him that it was easy to balance the whole detail. "I seem to have a habit of looking at details (laughs). It is said that

the relationship between the space in which things are placed greatly influences the attractiveness of the things, but on the contrary, I think that what is placed forms the charm of the space" As the accumulation of parts changes the air of the space, babakouri's tape cutter was cited. Based on this tape cutter, he was attracted by the story of the spread of various products of the brand. "For example, just one thing on the desk changes, and it spreads from there (part) and the whole thing changes. I think that's also the effect of things on space."


Mr. Kobayashi chose a variety of materials, shapes, and applications. However, it is common that there is strength for the times on the general day, and that it proves the inevitability of materials and shapes by itself. "Ingeard Roman described his design as "I am always looking for designs which are timeless and could be called self-infant, but are nevertheless difficultes to create". In fact, the passage "Timeless, Self-evident", which is the subtitle of a previously published book, is based on her remarks. I think my choices are

aggregated into these words." Maybe that's what finally stays at hand and prepares the air of life.


2-7-4-101 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino City, Tokyo