Ex-formation by Kenya Hara is my favorite among all the books I read in 2016. It was a surprising and inspiring read that transcends all design disciplines.

The book is a collection of 10 projects, or as the author describes it, ex-formation research.

What moves people’s hearts, in every case, is the unknown.

Things that people already know don’t excite them. And yet people have great zeal for making the world known.


If so, wouldn’t it be a good thing to unknow the world?


How to unknow the world

Is communication possible which, rather than making the world known, makes people understand how little they know about the world?

This book is an attempt to answer this question.If you can figure out how much you don’t know, the method by which you will know it will appear naturally.


Ten Themes

We’ve conducted Ex-formation research continuously between 2003 and 2014. Over the years we’ve tackled various themes. Themes are determined through a circular process of dialogue and voting. On the wall we tape up scraps of paper noting words that teachers and students are interested in exploring. Via dialogue/voting process, somewhat like that boiling and then simmering of a soup, we distill our annual theme.[…]

Below are the themes of the past decade:

1:RIVER(Shimanto River)











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