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Sitting at a plain white table in a meeting room high up on the 12th floor of a narrow building in central Tokyo, product designer Kenya Hara asks me to picture a shallow plate in my mind. “Now imagine a slightly deeper plate,” Hara says, “that gets deeper and deeper and eventually becomes a bowl.”

Hara is dressed in a crumpled black suit that is thrown over the top of a simple black T-shirt. He is rarely seen in public wearing anything else. He looks at me through a pair of tiny round glasses as he continues speaking.

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