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Designing Design 2nd printing Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-3037781050
ISBN-10: 303778105X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kenya Hara (1958) is a graphic designer, Professor at the Art University Musashino and communication advisor for Muji.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Lars Muller Verlag; 2nd printing edition (July 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 303778105X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3037781050
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.8 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinarily beautiful book in which scores of works by graphic designers are presented, commended upon and sometimes explained by famed Japanese graphic designer Kenya Hara.

There is no way I can do justice to either the beauty of this book or to the insightful text by Hara or to the range of design displayed. You have to see the book yourself to really appreciate the fact that, of all the gorgeous designs presented within--and there are scores of them--none is more gorgeous than the book itself. I think anybody in the book business might want to take this book in hand and peruse it as an example of what can be done in book design.

There are hundreds of strikingly beautiful illustrations: color photos, photos done in brown light, in black and white, in tones of gray, in green and blue and many other colors, and in white. There are drawings and photos of drawings, and photos of objects artfully placed upon the page. From commercial products such as a cute and clever paper roach trap, to a power outlet with curves that looks somehow like a stylized mother and child, to a road designed like a river, to cultivated landscapes and hotel exteriors, the designs are exquisite and the presentation most appealing. In looking at the illustrations, one is struck with the modernity but one senses in the background the influence of ancient traditions: the clean lines of sculptured rock gardens, perhaps, the mannered elegance of the Japanese tea ceremony, the power and simplicity of the watercourse way of the Tao and--most amusingly--the impishness of Zen.

Hara begins with "re-design." Design artists are commissioned to redesign some "daily products of the 21st century"--toilet paper, matches, the roach motel, exit stamps, diapers, tea bags, and macaroni.
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Format: Hardcover
This book gives some insight into the mind of the designer.

The idea of involving the senses, first in how to consider what to design (a glass, a rug, a car) to how the senses are involved by the design is a considerable part of this abundantly-illustrated book.

A lot of the book is devoted to Japanese modern design, which, if you have ever looked at the stunning graphic ads on Tokyo subways, will astonish you with its beauty and sometimes sideways way of looking at the world. Much is covered about how to stop the eye and make the brain see something old in a new way.

It's very hard to cover all that is in this book, but my impression is that if you are involved in any kind of design, this might be a book to stimulate the creative process and get you thinking when a new project is on your drawing board. Beautiful, pictorial and thoughtful book. It's hard to be more specific, but if you are in design, you will probably find huge ideas and new ways to look at the world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This lengthy book isn't needed if you read Hara's book, 'White', which neatly summarizes his philosophy and approach to design. I've given this four stars instead of five simply for length. Hara is at his best when he's working in a concise form (IMO). If you are thinking about this book, check out 'White' first. If you really liked White (like I did) then this is the next step, although much of the material will be repeated and illustrated with case studies that may (or may not) add value for you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for anyone studying design in the 21st Century. You will get depth, clarity, and insight into the design philosophy and process of a design master. Most books today touch on the "How-To" and the "What" of design. Very few books delve into the "Why." Kenya Hara's "Designing Design" is just that book, and you should buy it immediately before it goes out of print. If the written content was not enough for you, the book is beautifully designed and has so many examples of great design inside.
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