Education of Desire

Education of Desire

Lately, the words "Education of Desire" have set my thoughts in motion. If objects are created in response to people's desires, the quality of their desire will affect that of the object. If in response to the demands of appetite, we loosen our belts to the next hole, slovenly fashion follows. People's "needs" are sometimes loose. Therefore, needs require education. Desire and education are both words that seem too direct, but I haven't found any better. The English word education is better than the Japanese word, kyoiku, because it communicates the nuance of causing potential to blossom by supplying a vision. Design must be a slow, quiet education that gradually exerts influence on the quality of need--the standard of the desire. The aesthetics instilled in a subtly designed and well-made product kindle a small awakening and the desire life swells like a bud swollen to bursting. Objects are thus produced according to the desire that swells. Objects come into being in concert with these swollen desires, and the soil of culture grows and matures because of those countless cycles and linkages. The essence of design is participation in the quality of the soil. [Naito-san, I spent some time researching commas and "therefore". If we want to emphasize the introductory word or phrase, which in this case is the word, "therefore", we put a comma after it. If we don't want to emphasize it by making the reader pause after it, we don't. I think in this case, you're right. Let's put a comma after "therefore"! Thanks for urging me to look into it. Grammar is sometimes loose, like needs!]

Jun 12, 2011

The Principles of Adults

The Principles of Adults

The number of disposal diapers for adults, particularly the aged, has surpassed that of those for babies in our country. In 40 years, more than 40% of the population will be over 65. It's a bleak story. But it's boring to just see this as the coming of an aged society.
Some ants work hard, some goof off. I've forgotten the ratio, but it seems that even if you collect only hardworking ants into a community, or only lazy ants into a community, you still end up with an equal proportion of hardworking and lazy ants. I think the same would be true of human society. Regardless of the population's age structure, the proportion of the active vs. the inactive might be very close to that of the ants. What we need to do is reorganize our sense of value based on maturity and sophistication, without equating active to young. Or to put it another way, there are adults who are calm and composed at 20 and energetic people over 60.
At Hara Design Institute, we are concerned with the sense of value that emphasizes a mature viewpoint and atmosphere, regardless of age, an approach we call "The Principles of Adults". We intend to conduct marketing based on elements like maturity and sophistication, things we've lost sight of in the din and bustle of youth culture and a rapidly growing economy.

Jun 12, 2011

Architecture for Dogs

Architecture for Dogs

This section is about not kennels but architecture designed for dogs. We humans are animals that have striven to recreate the external environment to our own advantage. Whether functions or environments, we've made them from a human-centered perspective. Some people even believe that being friendly to humans is equivalent to being friendly to nature.
In fact, even dogs were made by humans. Wolves are dogs' ancestors. Pocket Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Toy Poodles, and Afghan Hounds: all breeds came into existence through crossbreeding, controlled by humans. Dogs would be perplexed if they were told to return to the wilderness. Dogs are destined to coexist with humans. So we are seriously considering how to make spaces and furniture to suit this coexistence.
The details of this plan begin with asking leading architects to design buildings for dogs based on detailed information about size and behavioral idiosyncrasies of the breed. The results will be shared on our website. The user will be able to access CG, drawings and animation showing how to fabricate the structure. We are thinking of selling full-size drawings of the proposed architecture, with the premise that users will build them. So the architecture should be designed simply for DIY construction.
We plan to present this project as an exhibition in Europe in 2012.

Jun 12, 2011

CHINA PROJECT

CHINA PROJECT

Asia moves on the tailwind of economic growth. By drawing on Japan's experiences and reflections of our own period of rapid economic and financial growth, we believe that we can help other Asian countries see the possibility of economic development progressing in step with the protection and utilization of cultural assets. Although China is unlike Japan in the tempestuous transformations of its historical and cultural characteristics, our interest in the various aspects of that culture is undying.
We expect that Kenya Hara's 2011 China Exhibition Design-like Design, a traveling exhibition that begins in Beijing, will lead to a deeper relationship with China.
The Jingdezhen Imperial Kilns is a compound project, the standard of restoration of porcelain manufacturing techniques and historical legacy. When we think of China, we think of porcelain. During the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Jingdezen was the hub of porcelain manufacturing. This exhibition is considered a large-scale communication design project comprising the utilization of kiln ruins and art resources, art museums, identification and tourism.
The Buddhist Seung Eun Temple in Yangyang, Korea, is a project conceiving a new format for a Zen temple. This is an experiment in thinking from an entirely new perspective about what kind of environment and space in which people experience Zen.

Jun 12, 2011

Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism and Hospitality

For the more than 60 years following World War II, Japan's industry has been bolstered by industrial production. The Japanese archipelago has been used as a factory and the vision of the "Pacific Belt Zone" is still the foundation of industry in Japan. This zone encompasses Keihin [including Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama as one industrial region], Chukyo [Tokai's most urban area, centered on Nagoya], Hanshin [including Osaka and Kobe], Setouchi [the Inland Sea coasts in Chugoku's southern and Shikoku's northern areas] and Kitakyushu [including Fukuoka and Kitakyushu]. We import resources, process them in industrial complexes, manufacture products in factories, and ship them overseas from seaports. But it's high time that we look to the innate charm of our archipelago.
Mountains and woods cover large areas of our land and we have numerous rivers. Our archipelago has inland seas rich in greenery and water, and the four seasons are distinct. We have scarce resources of oil and minerals, but there are hot springs everywhere.
We believe that by reevaluating the charm of this country, blessed with nature, we can progress as a new nation of tourism and hospitality, attracting visitors from abroad by grace of our aesthetic resources: refinement, civility, precision and simplicity.
We now feel the possibilities of both hospitality design that strives to welcome our guests and experience design whose goal is to launch experiences. Examples such as navigation design for the Setouchi International Art Festival and art direction for a hotel are projects that mark this beginning.

Jun 12, 2011

HOUSE VISION

HOUSE VISION

The house is like the fruit that becomes the tree growing in the soil of our desire for living. If you want good fruit, it's more important to take care of the tree than of the fruit itself, and even more important to fertilize the soil in which the tree stands. I think the economic and cultural sphere that is the soil of contemporary Japan is pretty fertile. Today, the supersonic growth has passed, the expanding economic development has slowed, and we are no longer manipulated by steeply rising land prices. Naturally we turn our attention to satisfaction in our daily lives. Rising economic prosperity brought us more opportunities to go abroad, but as people experience more contact with outside cultures, they become more conscious of the values and idiosyncrasies of their own countries. Naturally Japanese people have begun to recognize the dormant resource of the aesthetics at their very feet.
There is a sensibility in Japan that shies away from attachment to a house in which one spends his life in this ephemeral world, which, in Buddhist terms, passes in an instant that is equivalent to 1/75th of a second. However, that is the very reason for the blossoming of our unique aesthetics. We want to see the Japan that blooms next.

Once, the architecture of Japan was rich and fertile. Not limited to Katsura Rikyu, [Katsura Imperial Villa], by which the German architect Bruno Taut was moved to tears, saying that it had attained the height of perfection, traditional Japanese architecture had beauty and dignity. The form of fusuma [opaque sliding screens] and shoji [translucent sliding screens] was determined more by the ordering of the body, that is, the way in which one opens and closes them, the mannered carriage of standing, walking and sitting on the tatami-mat floor, than by the ordering of the space. They certainly didn't come about in response to loose corporal needs. They are one with a mentality that lives in a space that allows one to engage with the world with beauty and modest dignity. What moved Taut was the simplicity and humility uniting mentality and architecture. It is this cultural sustenance that is behind the contributions of Japanese architecture and design to the global context.
Today, real estate development, having metamorphosed into a financial business based on rising land prices, has finally begun to shift from determining house value based on land value to determining it based on the quality of the residence.

In order to preserve traditional industries, say Japanese lacquer, appealing lacquer ware pieces have to be developed. But suppose such a piece is sold capriciously, carried home and put on a table littered with remote controls, and a toppled teddy bear; it will make no impression at all. The distinct existence of a table empty of objects is the prerequisite for the beauty of a piece of lacquer ware. The same is true of ceramics, kimono and even ultramodern products.
Some electric appliances and high-tech equipment will be gradually incorporated into a house. Air conditioners, televisions and lighting will be installed in walls or ceilings. Whether tradition, high technology or design, they all arrive at the same place: house.
The Meiji era (1868-1912) is distant history. As is the postwar period. Now it's the Great East Japan Earthquake. This momentous punctuation is an opportunity to change something. So we want to consider houses in Japan. We plan to create something that will make the world say, "Have you seen those Japanese houses?" We will deliberate with a panoramic vision, working with the national government, energy companies and a wide variety of industries.

Jun 12, 2011

VISUALISE JAPAN

VISUALISE JAPAN

The Great East Japan Earthquake punctuates our history. I visited the afflicted districts of Ozuchi, Kamaishi, Sanriku, Rikuzentakada, Ohunato and Kesennuma, but the loss of an entire region, encompassing urban areas stretching several hundred kilometers north to south, far exceeds the imagination. After suffering such an enormous disaster, what kind of reconstruction will be possible in Eastern Japan? This question isn't just for the places directly affected, but for the future of Japan and the world. The dual disaster of 3/11 2011 that we now call "311" has transformed the world's interest in Japan.
We believe that by collecting wisdom from Japan and around the world, we can create the circumstances in which intelligence and ideas from all sides can be mobilized for the reconstruction of East Japan, with proposals resulting from the collection and analysis of information. From the standpoint of communication design, we think that rather than offering ideas, we can help by organizing information and comprehensibly visualizing the multitude of reconstruction plans flitting about.
This disaster has brought about an unprecedented crisis of radioactive contamination to Japan. While our immediate concern is the physical problem of the nuclear plant, we believe that we can help minimize the damage that industry has suffered due to the negative image of a radiation-contaminated Japan, by objectively communicating to the world the present situation, at least based on supporting scientific evidence.

Jun 12, 2011