Representing a new generation of designers in Japan, Kenya Hara pays tribute to his mentors, using long overlooked Japanese icons and images in much of his work. In Designing Design, he impresses upon the reader the importance of “emptiness” in both the visual and philosophical traditions of Japan and its application to design, made visible by means of numerous examples from his own work.
“To understand something is not to be able to define it or describe it. Instead, taking something that we think we already know and making it unknown thrills us afresh with its reality and deepens our understanding of it,” Hara says of his design philosophy. Designing Design gives the reader an understanding of said philosophy as well as opens their mind to new ways of thinking.
Hara, born 1958, is a Japanese graphic designer and professor at the Musashino Art University. He for instance designed the opening and closing ceremony programs for the Nagano Winter Olympic games 1998. In 2001, Hara enrolled as a board member for the Japanese label MUJI and has considerably molded the identity of this successful corporation as communication and design advisor ever since.
Author(s): Kenya Hara
Design: Naoto Fukasawa Design