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Wabi sabi - The traditional Japanese aesthetic focused on the acceptance of transience & imperfection.

The traditional Japanese aesthetic focused on the acceptance of transience & imperfection. It can be reinterpreted as: understated elegance, beautifully unique or wisdom in natural simplicity.

Wabi sabi can be described as the characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty. It occupies roughly the same position in Japanese aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West.

Wabi sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.

“If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi sabi.”

In one sense wabi sabi is a training whereby we learn to find the most basic, natural objects & scenarios interesting, fascinating and beautiful. Fading autumn leaves would be an example. Wabi sabi can change our perception of the world to the extent that a deliberate ‘gap’ or imperfection makes for a more interesting user experience.

Our attention is shifted from perfection or symmetry to seeing and appreciating the other carefully arranged focal points – our senses appreciate the imperfect and we experience a new harmony. When we choose materials that age such as wood, metal and fabric they become more interesting as they exhibit changes that can be observed over time.