Kenya Hara – Designing Design

Kenya Hara

I have been reading a newish book from Japanese designer , which came to me as an incredibly thoughtful gift. , which is excellent, is not so much a portfolio or biography as much as a treatise on Hara’s philosophy of design, a philosophy that is both insightful and interesting, distinctive, and deeply immersive. His work is iconic in many ways, but not because of anything remotely approaching a signature flourish. He places significant focus on how all of our senses are affected by design, which encompasses everything from objects to environments.

Inside his book are beautiful images of his work, as well as that of others who have collaborated with him or contributed to projects he has curated. The images provide important references to his ideas and observations, and they are well integrated. The book functions almost as an illustrated guidebook to Hara’s design philosophy, visually representing the application of his thinking. Also, the design of this book is superbly elegant and engaging:

Designing Design by Kenya Hara

As a designer, Hara’s work reflects thought and consideration that seems contradictory in that it is both minimalist and comprehensive. It is evident that this is not a person who takes design lightly, and perhaps considers it more of an epistemological exercise:

“The human brain likes anything that entails a great deal of information.”

Kenya Hara

The book is divided into chapters that individually and collectively investigate:

  • - Re-Design – Daily Products of The 20th Century
  • - Haptic – Awakening the Senses
  • - Senseware – Medium That Intrigues Man
  • - White
  • - Muji – Nothing, Yet Everything
  • - Viewing The World From The Tip of Asia
  • - Exformation – A New Information Format
  • - What is Design?

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