Designing Design

reading minimalism

In Designing Design the renowned Japanese designer Kenya Hara 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. Hara, for instance, designed the opening and closing ceremony programs for the Nagano Winter Olympic games 1998. In 2001, he enrolled as a board member for the Japanese label MUJI and has considerably moulded the identity of this successful corporation as communication and design advisor ever since. Kenya Hara, among the leading design personalities in Japan, has also called attention to himself with exhibitions such as Re-Design: The Daily Products of the 21st Century.

Creativity is to discover a question that has never been asked. If one brings up an idiosyncratic question, the answer he gives will necessarily be unique as well.

Published by Lars Müller, the book was created by Hara as a work that reads more like a mandate for ethical product design than as an indulgent graphic design book destined to rest on yet another modern coffee table. Designing Design is written more as a contemplation of the ethics of design than as a retrospective of the work of an individual graphic designer.

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