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Kenya Hara

Often referred to as a ‘design genius’, Kenya Hara is an iconic Japanese graphic designer, curator and writer. Although he is known as the creative director of the minimalist retail brand Muji, he is gaining fame as a graphic designer who is interested in how we can apply design in our everyday life.

Kenya has played an important role in moulding the face of contemporary Japanese design. Although you might think you know nothing about him, it is most likely that you have encountered his designs or his ideas before.

In 2002 he became an adviser and art director of Muji, which helped to raise the brands profile across Japan while also effectively crafting the way Japanese design is perceived outside Japan.

His impressive work doesn’t end here though, as he is also a graphic designer, a design professor at Musashino Art University, director of the Hara Design Institute, author of critically acclaimed books “White” and “Designing Design,” and a curator of large-scale design exhibitions. 

The reason Kenya is so revered in the design world is because of his ability to articulate a clear philosophy about Japanese design that is sensitive to the present as much as it is to the past.