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Designing Design [Hardcover]

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Item description for Designing Design by Kenya Hara...

Representing a new generation of designers in Japan, Kenya Hara (born 1958) 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: 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, alongside Naoto Fukasawa one of 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" of 2000.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   467
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   3.25 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 14, 2007
Publisher   Lars Müller Publishers
ISBN  303778105X  
ISBN13  9783037781050  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kenya Hara

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kenya Hara (1958) is a graphic designer, Professor at the Art University Musashino and communication advisor for Muji.

Kenya Hara was born in 1958.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Architecture
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Art & Music > Studio Art > Design
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art Instruction & Reference > General
6Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Commercial > General
7Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Design > General
8Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Drawing & Modelling > General
9Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Designing Design?

YOU NEED THIS  Jun 10, 2008
This title is exactly what you expect from the cover, it is absolutely amazing inside. Clean, conceptual work that ranges from product design to printing techniques. Its very Japanese aesthetics, the interiors are well designed and beautiful. This is a book that will inspire even the quiet.
Designing Design  Apr 26, 2008
Not only a beautiful book but also a great collection of images and essays, a strong contribution to the field of design literature.
Design Philosophy  Dec 12, 2007
The Book has a different approach when it comes to design, and its not the mere use of the banal connotation that design has become, but the art of designing and undertaking projects with special sensibility which is explained in its pages. The author shows through different examples of his work, when designing how he engage his projects in a more significant way. Simplicity and common sense.
The eastern perspective and its way of life is strongly reflected in a very palpable philosophy which is the guideline throughout the book. Truly special lecture.
The Philosophy of Design  Dec 11, 2007
DESIGNING DESIGN is quite possibly the most beautiful book on design ever published. Not only is the content illuminating and intelligent, allowing the world to gain an appreciation for one of the truly unique voices in the design field - that voice being the Japanese master Kenya Hara - but also in keeping with the subject, the book itself is a paramount of elegance, simplicity and superb creative force. This is a white book, a volume of information and illustration that embraces the purity of white as the matrix upon which everything blossoms and emerges.

In an introductory essay by John Maeda the author states `Kenya Hara is a complex man. He views the world through his many lenses of seeing, tasting, smelling, erasing, evaporating, and all the forms of construction and deconstruction.' And after those appropriate words this pristine book opens into the genius that is Kenya Hara. `Verbalizing design is another act of design....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.' What follows on the pages are images of page design, paper, bowls of white cabbage leaves, signs, images of Swatch watches that come down through projected air onto any surface presented, unique signage for public spaces, soft ice cream shapes, furniture, spaces, lamps, posters - any object that requires rendering is treated and discussed in concept and philosophy by a man of great wisdom as well as endless creativity. The illustrations accompanying the text are clean and as well placed on the page as any creation by Hara. This is a seemingly endless array of fascinating subjects.

For the non-designer reader, the reader fortunate enough to open this book without the prejudice of traditional design information, this text contains powerful philosophical concepts. `The human brain likes anything that entails a great deal of information. Its extensive capacity waits eagerly to perceive the world by completely exhausting its great receptive powers. That potential power, though, remains today in a state of extreme constriction and is a source of the information stress we're all under.' Hara approaches this conundrum by dividing his book into sections that approach answers to these problems: RE-DESIGN, HAPTIC (Awakening the Senses), SENSEWARE, WHITE, MUJI (Nothing, yet Everything), VIEWING THE WORLD FROM THE TIP OF ASIA, EXFORMATION (Rivers, Resorts), and finally WHAT IS DESIGN? This book is meant to be absorbed slowly, portion by portion, and then to be read again once the reader understands Hara's contributions - quiet yet majestic though they be. The text reads very well (thanks to the superb translation efforts by Maggie Kinser Hohle and Yukiko Naito) and while the information is complex, the writing style is comfortably conversational.

This is an important book on many levels and should be required reading for all students of design, practitioners of design, and for everyone whose eyes are influenced by astute observation. Brilliant! Grady Harp, December 07
Don't judge a book by its cover  Nov 20, 2007
A plain white cover with some black text in Helvetica. That's the dust jacket cover of a design book? If I'd judged the book solely by the cover I would have missed what is actually a quite unique and wonderful book about design.

The cloth-bound cover itself is also all type, but now white type embossed into a white cover--not the most readable (though you can read it) but in a way the essence of this book--minimal, elegant, playful, clever and thought-provoking.

This understated and often witty approach is a refreshing antidote to the frantic overkill that constitutes much of the commercial design we're bombarded hundreds of times a day.

Like the cover, the text can be mysterious. When I first read the preface I balked. But I was intrigued and read it again and this time, it was surprising and beautiful.

"To understand something is not to be able to define it or describe it. Instead, taking something that we think we know already and making it unknown thrills us afresh with its reality and deepens our understanding." It's almost as if he's talking about a Claes Oldenburg sculpture which takes a common object and shows it to us in a gigantic size that makes us see it in a new light--yet the designs and ideas featured in the book give us this new perspective right on a printed page.

You're not going to see innovative typography in this book (though the book itself is beautifully designed, typeset and produced). But you are going to see stunningly understated photography and a Japanese approach to design that can be an inspiration everywhere in the world.

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