Kenya Hara

AGI Open 2023 Kenya Hara Portrait BW 2000x2000px

Nippon Design Center

Born in 1958. Designer. Representative, Nippon Design Center. Professor, Musashino Art University. Kenya Hara has held numerous exhibitions in Japan and abroad that re-examine conventional values, including RE-DESIGN: Daily Products of the 21st Century, JAPAN CAR: Designs For The Crowded Globe, and HOUSE VISION.

In work such as the opening and closing ceremony programs for the Nagano Winter Olympic Games and Aichi Expo 2005, Hara implemented design deeply rooted in Japanese culture. He has served as art director for MUJI since 2002. His other creative activities encompass various fields, including ‘VI’ for well-known brands in Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan. In 2008 and 2009, he held large-scale solo exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2004, at the XXI Triennale di Milano, he and Andrea Branzi collaborated on NEO-PREHISTORY: 100 Verbs, an exhibition presenting history through the co-evolution of human tools and desires.

Hara also served as the general producer for JAPAN HOUSE, an overseas hub established by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a project in which he focused on presenting Japanese culture as a resource for the future. In 2019, he launched ‘High Resolution Tour’, a website and travel blog series introducing various localities, lodgings and tourist facilities in Japan from a unique perspective. This initiative showcases a new approach to tourism that emphasises an enriching cultural experience rather than traditional sightseeing.

In 2023, to commemorate Hara’s receipt of the 2020 Jan Lenica Award, a solo retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the National Museum in Poznań, Poland, Make the Future Better than Today. Kenya Hara has published many books, including Japanese and English editions of Designing Design (Iwanami Shoten, 2003 and Lars Müller Publishers, 2007, respectively); White (Chuokoron Shinsha, 2008); Japanese Design (Iwanami Shinsho, 2011); White 100 (Chuokoron Shinsha, 2008) and Teiku-hiko High Resolution Tour (Iwanami Shoten 2022).