In 2002, Hara became art director of MUJI, Japan’s best-known “no-name” brand, which now promotes a wide range of products and a lifestyle in line with the company’s development vision. He is involved in planning advertising campaigns, designing exhibitions, magazines, applications, and packaging. Under his leadership, MUJI has become an international symbol of aesthetic and conceptual quality.
Hara is a creator, curator and designer of multiple design exhibitions in Japan and abroad. In 2000 he put up an exhibition “RE-DESIGN – The Daily Products of the 21st Century”, intended to extend the perception of everyday reality. In 2004 he held a visionary show “HAPTIC – Awakening the Senses”, addressing the resources dormant in the human senses; the show was part of the annual “Takeo Paper Show” held in Tokyo. Other major exhibition projects include: “SENSEWARE” and “SUBTLE” in Tokyo, “Japan Car – Designs for the Crowded Globe” at the Science Museum in London and “Architecture for Dogs”, on display outside Japan, too. An author of four exhibitions titled “House Vision” (the first one staged in 2013). All of them, starting from studies on lifestyles, set out new directions of thinking for 21st-century societies. During various exhibition projects he has collaborated with world-renowned artists, such as e.g. Kengo Kuma, Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, Shigeru Ban, and Toyo Itō.
Hara is an author of eminent publications on design, translated into many languages, e.g. Designing Design (2007), White (2009), Ex-Formation (2018), and Designing Japan (2019).
He has been honoured with numerous awards in a variety of fields related to multiple design activities, i.e. advertising, corporate branding, book design, and exhibition design. A recipient of the Suntory Arts and Science Award for social sciences and the humanities.
A member and president of the Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA) and a member of the Tokyo Art Directors Club (TADC), Kenya Hara is actively involved in the work of both groups. In 2001 he became a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI).