designing design

from www. design boom.com

design, is basically not self-expression. instead, it originates in society. the essence of design lies in the process of discovering a problem shared by many people and trying to solve it. because the root of the problem is within society, 
everyone can understand plans for solutions and process for solving the problem, in addition to being able to see 
the problem from the designer’s perspective. design is appealing because the process creates inspiration that is engendered by this empathy among human beings in our common values and spirituality
.’ – kenya hara (p. 24)

japanese graphic designer kenya hara has been in the pursuit of nothingness, concentrating on identification and communication, 
making his expertise of design not of ‘things that are’, but of ‘things that happen’. since, 2001 he has been a member of the 
advisory board and also acted as art director of the japanese brand, planning and advertising to promote MUJI’s new vision. 

focusing on the purity of form and its meaning, this book brings forth hara’s theories and philosophical approach to design, 
presented across eight sections: 1. re-design: daily products of the 21st century; 2. haptic: awakening the senses;
3. senseware: medium that intrigues man; 4. white; 5. muji: nothing, yet everything; 6. viewing the world from the tip of asia; 
7. exformation: a new information format; and 8. what is design?.

hara’s dialogue throughout the publication is supported by examples of his own work, allowing us to see how he deconstructs and reconstructs one’s senses through design. for him, design is not necessarily always about creating something new, but also the act of making the known unknown. as a curator, he organized the exhibition ‘re-design: daily products of the 21st century’ based on this notion of getting leading japanese creators to (re-)design some very mundane commodities such as toilet paper and tea bags. 
it was a bit of an experiment in having individuals to re-evaluate the design of existing objects. hara’s intention was not so much to actually have these designers and architects come up with improved designs of the existing, but the results did in fact show clear ideas and exhibited a difference in the thought behind them and the conventional products."

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