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日本 のライフスタイル . 設 計 . 芸 術 文 化 誌

定値 780円

J A PA N L I F E S T Y L E . D E S I G N . A R T & C U LT U R E M A G A Z I N E

特 集: 原研 哉(はら・けんや) Get to know more about Japan’s leading designer and curator Kenya Hara and his works



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MUJI 無印良品

An introduction to one of Japan’s most renowned designer and curator, Kenya Har: Who is he and an overview of his works and achievements.

More about his current practice, Hara Design Institute which he founded. Their design soultions and proposed projects are often based on observations of society.

The man behind MUJI’s concepts and philosophies. An insight into how the brand aims to be perceived in the minds of their consumers.







In Kenya Hara’s book ‘White’ that was published in 2008, Hara is seen trying to reassess white not as a color but as the foundation of Japanese sensibilities.

Published in 2007, Hara brings forth theories and philosophical approach to design within the book. He uses examples of his own work to support his dialogue.

Resources of astonishing design can be found in the context of the very ordinary and causual. Designers take daily products and design them anew.






This exhibition features designs that capture how we perceive things with our senses. They focused on the sense of touch which produced an alternative design practice for designers.

Japan’s fibers were flaunted to the world through this exhibition which had two runs. One in 2007 and the other in 2009. It was later brought to countries such as Milan, Israel and more.



EXHIBITION: JAPAN CAR Various Japanese cars showing originality and technology are exhibited. These cars could possibly be a solution to today’s crowded globe. The viewpoints of the urban systems and environments.



1998 Designed the programs for the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Nagano Winter Olympics 1998

1991 Founded at Hara Design Institute and is the current director

2000 Produced the exhibition “RE-DESIGN: Daily Products of the 21st Century”

2002 Joined the advisory board as the art director of MUJI

2004 Planned and directed the exhibition “HAPTIC - Awakening the Senses”

2007 Produced the exhibition “TOKYO FIBER -- SENSEWARE ‘07”




“ To be confident in a simplicity that feels in no way inferior to splendor and the simplicity that comes from stripping away frills can surpass splendor. ”


- Kenya Hara


原研哉(はら・けんや) born 1958

The name Kenya Hara profoundly resonates with design and architecture communities worldwide, as one of this generation’s forefront thinkers and innovators. He graduated from Musashino Art University and is known as a leading designer and creative instigator. He is truly transforming the way we view possibilities in todays landscape of product and surrounding lifestyle. To compress his capabilities into one description would be an understatement; he is a designer, professor, author and curator amongst many, making him one of the most influential people today.


We are well aware that design is all around us. Even if the object, structure or communicative piece saw minimal or maximum research and consideration, it has still been constructed in a way for our functional use as it’s primary purpose. But what is good design, how is it measured, and by whom? Is it a visually pleasing aesthetic or intelligence in reference to history for function and material, as an advancement for our future?

Hara Design Institute is a design think tank founded by Kenya Hara in 1991.

Published the book: “Designing Design”

2008 Published the book: “White” Produced the exhibition “JAPAN CAR” with Shigeru Ban


“ What is good design, and how important is it in our daily lives? ” This is one thing that Kenya Hara is at the forefront to explore and educate.



He is the current president of the institute; including him, the company has a total staff count of 20. While they continue to function as an orthodox design office offering solutions to clients, they place equal importance on proposing possible design projects based on their observations of society and the world that will lead us to the discovery of new problems to be solved.

Providing corporate and organisation clients with the highest quality resources through design in which they identify the fundamental nature of a thing, and the skill is fashioning a visible form for it.

As the media environment changes, communication methods and the meaning and role of design undergo drastic change as well. They work in all possible media and fields, bringing in outside talent and technologies when necessary.

They strive for work in which they pin down the essence of an object or issue while being aware of the source of its value.

Whether graphic design, architecture, products, websites, books, exhibitions, urban systems or navigation design, they provide solid, quality solutions. Every project at Hara Design Institute begins with vision sharing among all.



MUJI 無印良品




Poster, 2014 “Natsure, Naturally, MUJI.”

MUJI is more than simply a line of products. It is a way of thinking. These concepts were advocated by graphic designer Ikko Tanaka, who was the first art director of MUJI. Kenya Hara shares that MUJI tries to communicate this way of thinking by using a lot of explanation in words. They aim to ensure people naturally understand these ideas when they encounter the brand. Below are several themes he used to communicate these ideas:

EMPTINESS The first is the idea of “emptiness.” The idea of simplicity comes from Western contemporary design and takes a rationalistic form. But in traditional Japanese design, simplicity has a slightly different character. It is the simple form that gives users the freedom to develop their own way of handling an object. “It is this depth that is called emptiness,” says Hara. MUJI essentially embodies this emptiness. For example, the MUJI mattress with legs can also be

used as a sofa. Another idea is that users can also put several MUJI mattresses together to create an elevated floor. Giving users the freedom to use their products however they wish is what he means by emptiness. They feel this is not something to be explained in words. MUJI’s visuals are designed to allow users to feel this emptiness the moment they see them. The corporate advertising campaign above created in 2003 shows only images of the

MUJI 無印良品

earth and human beings photographed on the horizon. Rather than conveying a particular message, he decided to focus on the presence of MUJI. The visual allowed users to freely imagine what they feel MUJI to be. Hara felt that while creating those ads, he was able to gain a great deal of insight into how he thinks about MUJI. While brands around the world strive to create ads that make people want to buy that product, MUJI sends a message of emptiness.

NAT U R AL These 2014 ad images were taken on location in Iceland by Kenya Hara. The land was pushed up from the bottom of the ocean due to movement in the earth’s crust. It is extremely wild, but also very beautiful.

The second theme is “natural” and the advertising campaign on the left is from 2008. The theme was hands — Hands at work cooking or spinning wool. In his rough sketches for the ad, he focused on the incredible beauty of bare, unadorned hands at work. The copy has many meanings. It can mean being kind to someone or simplifying things. The copy is ambiguous and can be interpreted a number of ways.

He wanted to photograph women wearing MUJI clothes in a location like this. Thus they searched for not one model, but for a family of three generations of women — a mother, daughters and granddaughters. While we were shooting, the models began humming, and the scene was so perfect that they just went ahead and started filming. In fact they did not plan to produce this ad at all.

The copy created for another corporate advertising campaign is “What happens naturally.” It features a bed and chair by product designer Naoto Fukasawa. Thinking about the meaning of a backrest the back of a chair and a headboard would naturally take the same angle. In creating products, MUJI works toward a certain purpose and eliminates everything that is extraneous which leads to a natural design.

The women just reacted to what they felt from MUJI, and Hara was moved by what happened naturally. Poster, 2008 “Let’s Take Care”



MUJI 無印良品



MUJI 無印良品

L E T ’ S TA L K H O U S E S


家 の 話 を し よ う

“You can live any in whatever type of house you want to. MUJI can help our customers to do this.”

WAT E R The fourth theme is “water.” There is a Chinese saying that water conforms to both the circle and the square. Water can take the shape of whatever space it is in. As MUJI has expanded with stores around the world, they took on the message one year that MUJI wants to be “Like Water.” We weren’t talking about customers diving into and immersing themselves in MUJI. Wanting to be like water is wanting to be part of the culture, to become an indispensable part of it. These are photos of cities reflected in a cup of water where the silhouette of the entire skyline is contained within the water. They took the glass to cities where MUJI has stores and photographed it all around the world. These large photos hanging in stores subtly convey the message that MUJI wants to be like water. This corporate ad illustrates the fact that MUJI is all around the world. MUJI shopping bags are shown in different locations around the world to point out MUJI’s presence worldwide.

Poster, 2009 “Like Water” poster

E AR T H Poster, 2007 “Let’s Talk Houses”

HOME The third theme is “home.” A year after photographing the horizon ad, Hara felt like taking pictures of homes. At that time, he was thinking about the fact that MUJI is a brand that offers a philosophy about how to live, a certain kind of lifestyle. His impulse was to capture it by photographing homes at the “end of the earth.” When Ikko Tanaka started to work as an art director for MUJI, the company had only about 40 items and by the time the ads were made, they had about 5,000 items. With that many products, Hara thought MUJI could represent a way of living. The idea of a MUJI “home” is not simply to fill one’s space with MUJI items. It is to help people who are good at breaking down ready-made ideas for what makes a home and rebuild in their own way. When brought together, MUJI products serve as an “operating

system,”or a concept or aesthetic, making a lifestyle work. When one looks at a MUJI store — the size of the flagship stores in Yurakucho or Shanghai, he thinks MUJI has the power not just to market individual products, but to offer a vision of an overall lifestyle. He believes that by helping more people gain the skills to re-design a house to fit their own lifestyle, rather than simply buy a ready-built structure, they cultivate customers for MUJI too. This is an ad from ten years ago or so. At that time in Japan, homeowners were not only buying newly built houses and renovating older homes. The ad copy “Let’s Talk Houses” is accompanied by visuals of a house with everything — the floor, walls, ceiling — removed. This is when they began inviting customers to talk with MUJI about homes. Now MUJI offers houses among its products.

The final theme is “earth.” MUJI is always focusing on details of life such as houses and socks, but the shots for their corporate ads are taken as wide as possible to explore how we all live from a global perspective. About two years ago, Hara was searching the world for an ad theme, and found the Alpaca in Peru. These animals live on the Andes mountaintops in South America and are still as multi-colored as they were long ago. MUJI had begun to use Alpaca wool in its products. The women who live there knit sweaters, gloves and socks from the Alpaca wool they spin into yarn. The landscape there was extremely beautiful. He photographed the beauty in its natural state and used it in the ads. Hara believes that images of people living naturally with the earth are extremely important.He took this photograph in Bolivia in 2003 for the horizon ad. He went to take a shot of the line where the sky and land met as he wanted photographs that captured the sea, the land, and the sky in a single shot for their ad campaign. The new cameras were incredibly advanced with fantastic resolution and focus that doesn’t blur even at wide angles. They keep theirs in a camera housing to protect it while shooting in the ocean. Poster, 2012 “Humanity: Warm?”







ANDY POLAINE’S REVIEW ON DESIGNING DESIGN The book reflects the balance of style and content, action and non-action. Its physicality has a stillness and a haptic sensuousness that helps you focus on the content whilst experiencing Hara’s design approach at the same time.


Book is available for purchase at Lars Müller Publishers

“The essence of design lies in the process of discovering a problem shared by many people and trying to solve it.”

– Design Boom

2008 Art Director: Kenya Hara Director: Kenya Hara Photographer: Yoshihiko Ueda, Yasuhiro Ishimoto



“White” is not a book about colours. It is rather Kenya Haras attempt to explore the essence of “White”, which he sees as being closely related wto the origin of Japanese aesthetics: Simplicity and subtlety. The central concepts discussed by Kenya Hara in this publication are emptiness and the absolute void. Kenya Hara also sees his work as a designer as a form of communication.

As observed by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, “by melding everyday observations with reflections on Japanese aesthetics and sensitivity, (Hara) amplifies the need to critically revise our understanding of the senses. This important little book thus challenges the simplifications that inform much presentday thought concerning what can be felt, experienced, and emotionally negotiated.”

In this book Kenya Hara compares this form of communication with an “empty container”. In visual communication, there are signals or symbols such as the cross or the red circle on the Japanese flag, which — like an “empty container” — permit every signification and do not limit imagination. Not alone the fact that the Japanese character for white forms a radical of the character for emptiness has prompted him the closely associate the colour white with emptiness.

There is an entire chapter on the concept of paper, the invention of which Hara sees as being of fundamental importance to the development of human creativity, not just for its pragmatic function as a more convenient canvas than earlier materials such as papyrus and parchment. The paper’s colour and its bright shining, white surface encouraged creation. The invention of paper ‘was a breakthrough that evoked a world of unblemished purity and calm’.

As a designer, Kenya Hara sees his work as a form of communication where good is being able to listen to each other, rather than press one‘s opinion onto the opponent. He compares the idea in this book with an “empty container”. Book is available for purchase at Lars Müller Publishers

“Emptiness is the ‘possibility yet to be filled.’”

– Kenya Hara, White

This philosophy is the thread that runs through the entire text of Hara’s deep and thoughtful book, Designing Design. The book begins with several exhibitions that Hara organised and for which he devised the question that should be Kenya Hara 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. For instance, he design work for the opening and closing ceremony programs of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games in 1998. This philosophy is

Art Director: Kenya Hara Director: Kenya Hara Kaoru Matsuno

the thread that runs through the entire text of Hara’s deep and thoughtful book, Designing Design. The book begins with several exhibitions that Hara organised and for which he devised the question that should be answered. Through these productoriented, philosophically astounding group shows, which are curated around important design and lifestyle themes which are undertaken by contemporary superstars in such fields as architecture, product design and electronics, Hara has queried the entire community. This book is his attempt to open up the discussion to even more designers and to members of the global community, all of whom are intimately affected by design on a daily basis.



R E - D E S I G N : DAI LY P R O D U C T S




“Producing something new from scratch is creative, but making the known unknown


is also an act of creation.” – Kenya Hara


Matches by Kaoru Mende

This particular exhibition that Kenya Hara had produced presented the fact that the resources of astonishing design can be found in the context of the very ordinary and casual. ‘Re-Design: Daily Products of The 21st Century’ involved curating works of Japanese creators whereby they take daily commodities such as toilet paper and a matchbox, and design them anew.

M AT C H E S Designed by Kaoru Mende, the concept of Matches is to entrust these dried twigs with a final role as matches, prior to their return to the soil. The design asks viewers to consider the relationship between humans & fire, which spans tens of thousands of years, letting their imagination run through time, over their ancestors’ life as it was intertwined with fire, & then place fire in the palm of our hand. As viewers take a closer look, the shapes of sticks are quite aesthetically pleasing. Our busy lives

T O I L E T PAP E R Shigeru Ban’s design for this exhibtion does not imply that all the toilet paper rolls in the world should be square. Hara would like viewers to notice the note of criticism sensed vaguely at the periphery of the concept of a square toilet paper. He is known around the world for designing buildings using paper tubes and has a genuine reason for this approach. Paper tubes can be produced at a low cost and can be recycled when they are no longer needed. For this design, toilet paper attracted his interest. Ban’s re-designed toilet paper has a square tube. The conventional round roll smoothly supplies more paper, “swoosh, swoosh”. What’s more, when packaged, the square rolls fit together nicely, saving space in transportation and storage. And because the tube is not round, the dispensing motion is incremental when the user pulls on the toilet paper. The theory is that this will prevent the user from pulling too much and reduce resource consumption.

R E - D E S I G N : DAI LY P R O D U C T S

usually exiles such aesthetic objects from our mind. Nature, fire and humans: Mende’s solution impressively evokes their individual existences. These Anniversary Matches would be effective for use as birthday candles on birthday or anniversary cakes as burning fire is a powerful symbol. Perhaps this is because flame enshrines the possibility of both a ferocious, destructive power that can grow immensely, and the essence of creation. This giant imagination is infused into a match-sized design solution.”

T E A BA G Here, Naoto Fukasawa re-designed the humble tea bag. He explains his first product of the series as shown in the first two images (starting top right-left) as “centre of awareness”— part of which is knowing when the tea is ready by the color it creates. The ring that he attached to the end of the string is the color of the tea when it is ready. It becomes is a subtle guide for the end user to measure, if they want to — when the tea is ready. It also works as part of the packaging to contain the materials.

Toilet Paper by Shigeru Ban

As for the design as seen in the third image Fukasawa observed that the dipping movement of a tea bag in the hot water as similar to that of a marionette. Thus he came up with this design where the piece at the end of the string allows

for movement like that. He also changed the teabag shape to that of a doll which when placed in hot water swelled to give a more jovial shape. There is an added whimsical and playful vibe to this design. The last image shows his final design from this tea bag series that is based on an observation that a used teabag creates a beautiful brown color. Fukasawa decided to use the tea to dye the packaging. This way, the end user gets a hint at the colour and the wonderful fragrance of the tea in the packaging. He also used the same colour but darker to print the name of the tea on the packaging — ‘Thoughtful’, ‘simple’ and ‘beautiful’ are words to best describe the works he comes up with. Tea Bags by Naoto Fukasawa







“It is not the question of how to create, but how to make someone sense something. We might call this creative awakening of the human sensors the design of the senses.”

This was one of Kenya Hara’s other curated exhibtions. He invited exhibitors to create objects that displayed a quality of textual communication and the exhibition featured designs that captured how we perceive things with our senses. The featured design objects focused on the sense of touch, producing an alternative design practice, one that originates in the senses. The objects on display vary from clocks, cups, clothing for furniture to silicone door handles, mobile phones, textured shoes and a water pachinko game.




C AB BA G E B OW L S Cabbage Bowls, the design is created by Japanese artist, Yasuhiro Suzuki who is regarded as a designer who transforms the ordinary into extraordinary. For example, objects such as a pencil sharpener, a stamp, an eye dropper or a tree stump. The artist’s curiosity how he comes up with beautiful ideas. Another one of his project is the Re-cocoon, which uses silk cocoons to create lampshades. The Cabbage Bowls was designed in 2004 for this particular exhibition. Suzuki first creates the mold using silicone followed by the exact structure and pattern of real cabbage leaves. The mold is then covered with paper clay and left to dry. When peeled off, we are left with a paper clay cabbage leaf that looks exactly like the real vegetable. To

make it more realistic, Suzuki reproduced every single leaf in a cabbage head. The design turned out to look, feel and weigh almost exactly like a real cabbage. The beauty of these bowls lies in their appearance as well as in the experience of them. The material used, being quite disposable and ordinary, relates to our perception of a real cabbage, which is chopped, consumed and chucked away without thought. Yet, as we keep looking at these cabbage bowls, we are tempted to think of them as modern, fragile and very aesthetically pleasing. Isn’t it ironic how we can easily dispose of a cabbage leaf but we would probably think twice before disposing it’s replicate? Suzuki’s design unconsciously makes us see the subject’s value.

The artist emphasizes the aspect of the cabbage with the lack of colours. By using the colour white only, we are forced to look at the leaf in its purest state, with all the creases and folds. Obviously, we all know what a cabbage looks like. Yet, surprisingly, the more we look at these bowls, the less we seem to know about the cabbage. As designer Kenya Hara mentioned, ‘taking something that we think we already know and making it unknown thrills us afresh with its reality and deepens our understanding of it.’ The colour also strips away any distraction from our westernized society, and focus our attention on a more quiet and profound Japanese craftsmanship.

Another design developed for the exhibition, Juice Skin consists of juice boxes that appear to be wrapped in the actual skins of the fruit whose juice they contain. When first seen, the effect of the juice boxes is immediate — Audiences quickly comprehend both the contents of the objects as well as the pun Naoto Fukasawa is making, since the use of actual fruit skin would be unworkable for this application.

apple and peach juice. Fukasawa had also exhibited Pantone-style swatches showing the colors and textures of each of the six proposed “Juicepeel” packaging surfaces. He used a number of different Tetra Pak containers to contain his six proposed flavors, including Tetra Prisma packaging for the banana beverage, the familiar gable top cartons for peach juice and Tetra Brik juice boxes for the other four flavors.

apple and peach juice. Fukasawa had also exhibited Pantone-style swatches showing the colors and textures of each of the six proposed “Juicepeel” packaging surfaces. He used a number of different Tetra Pak containers to contain his six proposed flavors, including Tetra Prisma packaging for the banana beverage, the familiar gable top cartons for peach juice and Tetra Brik juice boxes for the other four flavors.

He imagined that if the surface of the package imitated the colour and texture of the fruit skin, then the object would reproduce the feeling of the real skin. Borrowing the precise Japanese craft of simulation developed to make fake plastic food for restaurant displays, Fukasawa creates vividly realistic surfaces that conform to the improbable geometry of disposable beverage container. “Materials and means are the result of thinking how to create a sensuous effect.”The “improbable geometry” of juice-box shaped fruits is a big part of what makes these packages so intriguing. We somehow get surprised when we see “substantially square” products that are not ordinarily rectangular. The fruit skin packaging were all made of simulated plastic called sampuru —The same medium is also used to manufacture plastic “play food. Besides the photographed, banana juice, strawberry and kiwi fruit juice boxes, Fukasawa also created packaging for soy milk, green

When thinking of objects where there’s a marked contact with paper, what leapt to his mind was a paper drink pack. That slight weightiness, the chill and the beads of water on the surface, and the sense of holding a liquid form a set, together with the flavour of the drink. The skin of a fruit is also part of a set, with the juice, the flavour contained within that skin, and the feel of it. He believed that a design that imparted the idea that the taste could be received tactilely would fit in with the exhibition’s theme. Amongst the typical shapes

of tetra paks was an octagonal one, and since the configuration of the obtuse faces overlapped with the image of the obtuse surface of a banana, He designed a receptacle for the banana-flavoured milk. Things developed from there, and I also designed paks for soymilk, kiwifruit juice, peach juice and strawberry juice. The soymilk pak’s surface was given a texture like that of firm tofu. With the kiwifruit and peach-juice paks, fuzz like that found on the skin of each fruit was applied. The strawberry juice pak had small seeds embedded in its surface.


“Materials are not the mother of design. Materials and means are the result of how to create a sensuous effect. ”

– Nato Fukasawa

Sure they all turned out rather strange-looking, but a lot of interesting discoveries were made along the way. Fukasawa had the understanding that the feel of things we touch unconsciously on a daily basis is committed to memory along with that thing’s taste and smell; by awakening in an over-the-top way those senses of which we humans are unaware of, it was possible to create a mischievous design. With these paks, which are a bit off-putting to look at, if the juice inside tastes good, then they will be designs that people will not be able to forget and will not be able to let go. Looking only at the shape of a fruit, you can’t always say that that fruit looks good. Sometimes it can look off-putting too.

Texture is plays a huge part in Fukasawa’s designs. He sees life as a surface. So life is texture. Even when you’re not touching something with your hands, your eyes are open to touch every surface as a texture. To which sometimes have a very strange question for people: “Do you know the taste of the wall?” They have not eaten the wall, but they can know the taste. Why? You’ve already analyzed it from your experience through looking or touching.

EXHIBITORS Kenya Hara Shin Sobue Kosuke Tsumura Jasper Morrison Naoto Fukasawa Shuhei Hasado Yasuhiro Suzuki Shunji Yamanaka Matthieu Manche Panasonic Design Co.




From the ’07 &’09 exhibition (clockwise from top left): Cutting-free Jersey: Shorts Chair by Shin Sobue (2007) Ultra water-repellant Fabric: Rain Drops by Toshio Iwai (2007) New Conductive Fiber: ROBOT TILE by Hiroo Iwata (2009) Fake Fur: Marukko by Kenmei Nagaoka (2007) 3D Spring Structures: TOYS COMPRISING VISIBLE AIR by Kashiwa Sato (2009)

TOKYO FIBER — SENSEWARE is another exhibition curation by Kenya Hara and was started as a project to show the merits of Japan’s fibers. SENSEWARE refers to materials or mediums that arouse a creative desire in people. TOKYO FIBER began in ‘07 with the aim of communicating the hidden strengths of Japanese fibers to the world. For the 2009 exhibition, seven major chemical fiber manufacturers contributed, bringing together a full lineup of state-of-the-art fibers. This time the particular feature is an active effort to use 3D forming approaches with the fibers. Many of the exhibits use molding technology, employing heat and other techniques similar to those used for plastics and metals. The exhibition opened in Milan, Tokyo, and

Israel, and had a significant impact worldwide. It was also later on reproduced as part of the “Designing Design - Kenya Hara 2011 China Exhibition,” generating further interest and debate. Some interesting works that were exhibited include ROBOT TILE by Hiroo Iwara as seen on the right. Made out of New Conductive Fiber, the medium complexes nano-size metallic fine particles into a fiber and raises conductivity by reducing the distance between particles and broadening the conductive area. Also, because it has conductive function inside its fibers, the material is able to prevent a decline in conductivity due to flexing, frition, and salt corrosion, the conventional issues related to conductive fibers, enlarging the applicable area.

“Materials or mediums that arouse a creative desire in people through state-of-the-art fibers.”








To make something small is not simply to exercise patience. Japan has discovered value and beauty in the act of making things efficient and concise. This sense is leveraged in car manufacturing. It is said that in 2020, cars will run on alternative fuels derived from resources other than petroleum. Alternative energies like electricity, hydrogen a n d b i o e t h a n o l . With the increase in environmental awareness, technologies that are able to surpass fossil fuels have started to mature.

It is no longer a transportation system in which cars are controlled by their drivers; Cities control the transportation system and the future of mobility, and both are changing. The essence of the automobile is beginning to change, from a driving system to an information system.


They asked Visual Design Studio WOW and artist Akira Yamaguchi to produce work based on the image of JAPAN CAR. WOW created an animated film titled “The View from There”. He superimposed Tokyo’s contemporary westernised environment onto old urban structures.

by Time magazine as they featured

Mr. Yamaguchi drew Oyamazaki Kotsu no Zu, a transportation map vividly depicting in fine detail an imaginary city in which bizarre cars form a traffic jam, reminding us of Kyoto’s scenery on the medieval illustrated folding screen known as Rakuchu rakugai zu (Scenes in and around the Capital).

“It will allow many people to see for the first time unique cars that are special to Japan. These cars intrigue us and prompt us to ask whether this is a glimpse of the future of road transport.” – The Science Museum, UK


“We are experts in something or other. We are mothers. We are teachers. We are ambitious. We are on fire. We are a shopping center for design.”

JAPAN CAR This exhibition, produced by architect Shigeru Ban and Kenya Hara, was launched in Paris and London. The participants included representatives from Japanese car manufacturers and from various companies who helped them approach the theme from the viewpoints of urban systems and urban environments. The Japanese cars exhibited originality and technology that can help find a solution to today’s crowded globe.



is a Japanese architect known for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard tubes used to efficiently house



disaster victims. He was profiled 21st century innovators in the field of architecture and design.




interest in words and letters led her to work in copywriting and design, and she joined Nippon Design Center in 2013. Since then, she has been a member of the No. 4 Production Division and has been involved primarily with copywriting, including campaigns and catalogs for Isetan Mitsukoshi.

is the Chief Producer of the design centre and is mainly in charge of the work of Toyota Motor. He joined in 2015. As the manager of the whole project, there are various media such as catalogs and websites, to handle while carrying out schedule, budget management, progress of production and shooting, etc.

from Switzerland studied in Japan at the Kyoto University of Arts and Design. He was given an internship opportunity in Osaka. After graduating, he worked at Lars Müller Publishers and as a result of contact through that job, he joined Hara Design Institute as a designer in 2013.




is the Director in the Environment Support department at the design centre. Coming from Hokkaido, he workedin frontline and sales positions in the construction and IT industries before joining in 2006. He is responsible for preparing the environments for the Nippon Design Center equipment in Tokyo, Nagoya, and China, and for operation of the Print Center.

is a designer. As deputy director of the Hara Design Institute, she is responsible for project progress management and also design work. She considers her job to be a kind of overall work support and says of Kenya Hara as a boss who is extremely dedicated to his work. He invests more energy in work than anybody else. “When I see him, I feel that there is no way that I can ever slack off.”

is the copy director at the design centre. Graduated from the Department of Journalism at the Nihon University College of Law, Hayato worked in advertising production companies and agencies before joining in 1997. He is responsible for work in avariety of fields, but for many years he had to produced catalogs for the Toyota Motor Company.


A typography 8-spread editorial layout project based on an established renowned assigned designer. All contents in the publication (image...


A typography 8-spread editorial layout project based on an established renowned assigned designer. All contents in the publication (image...