As a designer I know that design is much too important to be left in the hands of designers.

 

It is true, designers claim to be open minded and all the time exploring possibilities and being oh so creative and all that crap. Yeah. Use a different font, that is REALLY creative. Maybe this time use light blue. Ooooh. How innovative.

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  

wabi-sabi - imperfect perfection

Designers are not deep people. Sorry. I used to have a lot of designer acquaintances who would be furius at this statement I have just made, but thank god I am not in contact with them since I found out they are not deep people.

It is true, designers claim to be open minded and all the time exploring possibilities and being oh so creative and all that crap. Yeah. Use a different font, that is REALLY creative. Maybe this time use light blue. Ooooh. How innovative.I never liked that crowd. The best thing about the exclusive design school I attended in Milan was that it didn’t have attendance lists so I never had to spend any time there. With the designers. 

Have you ever noticed designers always have wristwatches and shoes that are made by people who are much more creative than they are? You can look at a designer's wristwatch, dial it down three levels of sophistication and elegance ,one or two levels of inspiration and a a notch of hard work and you can predict with incredible certainty the level of this designers work.

Because this is what they were taught. This is how things work, this is how things should look like, and make it brighter and sharper and…I shudder to say the word outloud…. perfect. I used to have a sticker on my monitor for years, in a handmade ransom note style font that said :PERFECT IS BORING.
And this is why I love wabi-sabi.

 
  No , it is not eel wraped in salmon skin. Not even the green stuff that makes your cry and hit your forehead on the sushi bar as you feel your brain melting from within. No, that is wasabi.

Actually Wabi-sabi has a similar effect but only conceptually. If you take what is perfect in your mind, as an idea, as a goal, as something to aspire to, that will always be perfect, and bang it against a sushi bar a couple of times while crying hystericaly asking people to shove a chopstick up your nostrils to make it stop, you got the notion of wabi-sabi.

Wabi sabi is the esthetic philosophy that celebrates the imperfection, the organic defects you find in everything. At least everything that is alive. You will find it in a rock, but not in a Styrofoam cup.
 


Wabi sabi is admitting that we are mortal, that we never get what we want, and thank all the Shinto zen gods for that, and that we are living in an enviorment that is always changing, always decaying, always in transformation towards a different future, a different fate, a different impact on us as people, on us as individuals.

I had the misfortune of being an art-director for a very cheap very crappy jewelry company. They made millions out of trinkets and mass produces nothings, and had their ideology about what sells.

Well, it was more than ideology, it was a business plan, and it worked. Everything had to be symmetrical. Everything had to be rounded down to the cleanest, easiest to produce, lowest common denominator. Everything had to look like it did last season, but in orange this year. As I said, they made millions. And I survived just over a year there, which is incredible in itself.

But life is not symmetrical. Life is not clean. Life is not pretty, once you accept that  you can start doing something intereting. Something that is alive and kicking.

In my formal education I am an industrial designer. Spoons. Chairs. Lamps. Gadgets. You know. It all comes out of some factory line in the end with 0.03 tolerance level of the material and zero point boring level of defects permited. I never liked it.

I am going to build a nice clay working table. Make some ugly bowls. Some crooked candle holders. Other than the fact it will surely bring a big grin to my face, sending me back to shop class at elementary school, it will be closer to the truth then anything I can create here on the computer. Or even with my camera. It will be, by definition, wabi-sabi.

wabi-sabi is interesting. I want wabi-sabi. I love wabi-sabi.
And after saying wabi-sabi so many times?
Now I want a California maki and some sashimi too
.and put a lot of wasabi on the side.

http://www.wabisabi.org.uk/