I really enjoyed this short article about Kenya Hara and his influence on Japanese design. As a designer, it helps me to pause and look at my roll in the larger culture. His explanation of the difference between art and design is as simple as it is profound (much like his design sense).
His comparison of the German Henckels knife to the Japanese yanagiba sushi knife opens up a whole debate in my mind. Should designers “instruct” the user how to interact with the design, or should the user be free to interpret the design and co-opt for more imaginative uses? Of course, there is not just one right answer, but we should be mindful of that question whenever we start to create new designs.