Friday, September 28, 2007


Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. Read this book.
Read this book.

DESIGNING DESIGN, by Kenya Hara (Springer/Lars Muller, $50).

I read somewhere that Rem Koolhaas' Delirious New York spawned a generation of architecture enthusiasts. I have a feeling Designing Design is doing the same.

Hara is the guy who gave The MUJI Store (No Logo) its look. Now, you don't have to be a Hara-phile to like this book. I have simply never read anyone describe tactile sensations as well as him (and proper kudos goes to the translators for that too). For example, I LOATHE the way tiny organized dots look and feel (viz: pearls, rosaries, certain backs of ferns, fish roe, rashes, etc.) and I had never been able to properly exaplin why, but Hara does it. He knows what I'm talking about, and when I read his description of that particular design, I felt appeased, like somehow he uprooted the source. Yes, it has healing properties.

So the book is definitely a sort of catalog of Japanese designers, but Designing Design is more like Hara's manifesto on what design is and should be, but 'manifesto' is even too violent a word to describe what he does. Perhaps a better word is design. His design for design. jove,


He even got the title exactly right.

Here's a quote that I hope you all put in your email signatures:

Raising our point of view regarding daily life is like discovering decimals. The future is not where veryone looks for it, "there," right after the present. It's not an integral number in a line: 9,10,11.... It's somewhere like 6.8 or 7.3.

Plus to see what other designers have done with everyday objects to make them more tactiley (or to borrow Hara's language, "haptically") impressionable, is calming and wonderful. Like, "banana juice" is not something I'd ever think about, but when it's packaged like this, I could seriously deal with the consequence of constipation and drink nothing but(t) it.



Assholier Than Thou said...

this kinda stuff makes me want to quit whatever piddly shit im doing. thanks for bumming me out

Ed Sizemore said...

Anne, that juice box rocks! I thought it was a picture of a cut banana at first glance.

I will have to pick up the book. I also recommend Michael Graves's essays on architecture. He talks about the need to design buildings and rooms around the way we naturally relate to spaces. He articulated all the things I dislike in most modern skyscrapers and office buildings.

ill iterate said...

Seriously, there are prototypes of kiwi juice and strawberry juice too. It gets better and better.