Gerdur Harðardottir has worked as a freelance journalist for years, writing articles for many of the leading magazines in Iceland. She has also worked as a stylist on projects for TV, magazines, ad campaigns and books. Gerdur collaborates with Home and Delicious and will write every two weeks on our web page. She is also blogging away at Koolandkreativ.blogspot.com.
I've always been irresistibly fascinated by Japan, it's culture, art, customs, design and aesthetics. The design and architecture of Japan is both inspiring and thought-provoking. What characterizes things "Made in Japan" is a spartan simplicity, forward-thinking design and unique aesthetics. Kenya Hara is one of Japan's leading designers. Since 2001, Hara has been the creative director of Muji. With background in graphic design, Hara has designed posters, packages and corporate identities. Hara is best known for his exceptional vision on modern design; he's a popular lecturer, has curated large exhibitions and written books such as Designing Design and White. I urge everyone interested in design to get their hands on these books, they offer an awe-inspiring vision on design in general, design in today's Japan and how it entwines with ancient Japanese aesthetics, philosophy and religion which are often foreign to people living in the western hemisphere. Hara has been popular as a curator and creative director and one of his best-known projects include the opening- and closing ceremonies of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Hara often works with designers and architects from all over the world, assigning them projects to re-design ordinary, everyday objects such as toilet paper rolls and pasta. Hara is someone who thinks outside the box, someone who is always ready to turn our world upside-down. His projects are often based on our senses, i.e. smell, touch, vision, hearing and taste. His vision on design and it's place in our culture is fascinating, exotic, fresh and ultra-modern. More on Kenya Hara here.