Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Atsushi Kobayashi ("AK") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

AK : I really like drawing and went to private art classes since I was 6 years old. Then I majored in and got a master's degree in computer science. And after starting work as a computer graphics designer at TV ASAHI, I lfocused more on graphic design.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

AK : I know that if I create good designs, many people will see my works and this always motivates me. I am hoping future generations can still see and enjoy my creations.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

AK : I chose to become a designer.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

AK : I currently prefer to create interactive designs combining technologies and visual beauty.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

AK : See as many good designs as possible. And find your personal design style.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

AK : Great design stays up-to-date, but good design may loses its connections with current viewers.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

AK : Simplicity.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

AK : Because good design make people's life style better.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

AK : Architecture.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

AK : Sports stadium.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

AK : Inspiration from new experience.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

AK : I really impressed with Zaha Hadid's architecture even though it is strikingly different from my designs.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

AK : Zaha Hadid's architectures are amazing. Her designs grab people's attention and hold it.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

AK : Interactiveness really matters when I design my installations.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

AK : Try new things, find new inspiration and keep myself updated.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

AK : A Producer or director related to art.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

AK : Design is what makes our life better.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

AK : All the people who has the same spirit as mine.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

AK : Great designs around me.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

AK : I worked as a maintenance engineer for several years which would not be a creative life in long term, but I learned many new techniques which now I use in my installations.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

AK : According to their own style.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

AK : I am currently working on an upcoming art installation event. It is my first solo work in Los Angeles. The venue is a huge mixed-use building in downtown LA and other international artists will also be exhibiting their art works there. This is a challenging project but I am so excited about it.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

AK : To leave my works to future generations.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

AK : To keep designing for a better life.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

AK : It makes our life easier.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

AK : Upcoming installation event with international artists.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

AK : I most enjoyed collaborating on the promotion event for LEGO MOVIE 2 which was held in Hollywood, California, February 2019.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

AK : I would like to see more diverse designs included in every part of the design industry.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

AK : I guess it is going to more technology side.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

AK : It is depends on the project but usually a month.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

AK : It also depends on the projects, but basically I begin with the concept building.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

AK : Keep myself updated!

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

AK : I think there is both possibility. But there is a fact that design sets the trends on long range plan in many industries.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

AK : Technology enable me to realize and materialize my concepts.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

AK : Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop/After Effects Derivative TouchDesigner Autodesk Maya

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

AK : They help to harmonize my concepts with a given environment.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

AK : I appreciate any kind of questions.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

AK : It is random but mostly in relaxing time after brainstorming.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

AK : Anyone who has different expertise than I have may make a good design partner, but we must clarify each person's responsibilities before starting the project.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

AK : My family, an art teacher, a senior colleague.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

AK : It is not a particular book but I like checking design annual.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

AK : Keeping trying new experience.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

AK : I would like to see Japanese Ukiyo-e artists who were working in the 17th through 19th centuries.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

AK : Fame does not matter to me, but I do want many people to see my designs.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

AK : I like black and white. I love traveling to many different destinations, trying new foods and drinking, and enjoying new experiences.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

AK : Occasionally a client has had strange preference. For our installation, one client commissioned new artistic music from a composer that we were collaborating with, but in the end, he chose a free pop music from SoundCloud instead of the new music. We got a press interview at the opening day, but we couldn't answer why we chose the music.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

AK : Keeping exploring new experience.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

AK : I was not sure at that time, but I really liked drawing and went to private art classes since I was 6 years old.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

AK : I want a world with no war and sadness.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

AK : I would like to keep making unique installations.


Orizuru Room Interactive Lighting

Orizuru Room Interactive Lighting by Atsushi Kobayashi

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