‘An empty glass is much better than a full glass, for it provides all kinds of possibilities and can hold all kinds of meanings.’ – Kenya Hara

The work of Tokyo-based designer Kenya Hara is driven by emptiness, from the simplicity of his graphic design work to the reduction of waste and unnecessary packaging in products for MUJI. This summer, the Beijing Center for the Arts in China honors Hara’s work, its context and legacy in a long-deserved retrospective, Designing Design. The exhibition narrates his career in three orbits: a selection of objects from seven of his curated exhibitions, his philosophies on corporate design and a collection of his work in packaging, logo, book and poster design. Energizing the eyes and mind, semi-finished prototypes of his experimental work is also on display.

Like Hara’s book of the same name, Designing Design rethinks 21st-century graphic design and it’s social impact. The aim is to illuminate Hara’s spirit in such a way that will, as curator Zhu E, Tang Jing put it, ‘plant a seed for the future and bring Zen back home.’

Designing Design is on view at the Beijing Center for the Arts until July 15, 2011.