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WABI-SABI INFLUENCES DESIGN

June 15, 2018

Wabi-Sabi is a centuries old concept that is now being borrowed by the west. It’s a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". It’s a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching often condensed to "wisdom in natural simplicity" or "flawed beauty”.

 

 

The positive characteristics represent liberation from a material world and

transcendence to a simpler life. The philosophy itself, however, warns that genuine understanding cannot be achieved through words or language, so accepting wabi-sabi on nonverbal terms may be the most appropriate approach.

 

It’s the material representation of Zen Buddhism. The idea is that being surrounded by natural, changing, unique objects helps us connect to our real world and escape potentially stressful distractions.

 

 

 

 

 

In a high-tech world where people are living at a frenetic pace and striving for perfection on impossible time lines, wabi-sabi design might just be the needed antidote to de-stress ourselves in the home. It’s a gentle, naturalistic style that is forgiving of imperfections and embraces design elements that create a calm and minimal environment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some characteristics of the 

wabi-sabi aesthetic 

include

asymmetry, 

roughness, 

simplicity, 

modesty,

intimacy, and appreciation

of the ingenious integrity of

natural objects and processes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s where less is more, imperfect is perfect, simple is better and the raw human form or otherwise is embraced.

 

 

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