Kenya HARA - Sense & Sensibility
MUJI is a Japanese store in which you’ll find house products such as shelves, pens or clothing. The philosophy behind is affordable sustainable design, minimalism and purity of lines. The word MUJI means both “no brand” and “good product”. Behind this (non-)brand, you’ll find some of the world’s top designers. People you’ve probably never heard of like Jasper Morrison, Enzo Mari or Kenya Hara.
Years ago, Mr Hara became a member of MUJI’s advisory board and also became its art Director. He is now best known for fitting design into daily life.
I particularly like his unusual approach of the creating process. To help you better understand, here are some key-words to his philosophy :
RE-DESIGN daily products of the 21st century”. Why do that ? We live in the here-and-now in a constantly changing future. Re-thinking simple things around us is placing these objects in a continuity pattern. They then have a past, a present and a future.
SENSEWARE - awakening the senses. For Mr. Hara, this is the first step of creation, before thinking shape or colour. When the creator focuses on sensations, unexplored aspects emerge. It’s a new approach that is not just visual but integrating all our senses.
- HAPTIC, up ! – physical interactivity. Every culture has a different perception of touch as communication. Think of smartphones, how we now touch screens… In the future, reactive dynamic surfaces could be the next big thing. !
- TECHNOLOGY, down ! – or, at least, in the right place ! With so much technology around us, we can’t be bothered doing simple things. Our very senses suffer from not calculating, not writing, not eating the way we used to. Re-connecting with ourselves is essential to live and to create.
WHITE - For Mr. Hara, “white” is not a colour but a concept. White is when all colours have melted together. It’s a representation of purity and tranquillity. It symbolizes simplicity and subtlety. In opposition, the world is a colourful anarchy.
Also, in the Japanese language, the radical for white is the same as the radical for empty. White is also linked to a concept of emptiness that frees your imagination. When you think of it, a writer always starts with an empty white sheet…
- Information (in-formation) is putting into form and giving meaning.
- Exformation is asking questions that have never been asked before and discovering new ways. For Mr. Hara, asking questions is more important than finding answers.
Isn’t that beautiful ? Now, for more information, start with these links :