Wabi Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets + Philosphers


I recently read a sweet little book on one of my favourite topics called Wabi Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets + Philosphers.  Leonard Koren, the author, has really done his research and explains the concept of Wabi Sabi in an easy to understand, slightly poetic way.  I read the whole book one sunny afternoon!

“Wabi-sabi resolved my artistic dilemma about how to create beautiful things without getting caught up in the dispiriting materialism that usually surrounds creative acts.”

“Wabi-sabi is exactly about the delicate balance between the pleasure we get from things and the pleasure we get from freedom from things.”

The Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi is something that I try to consider in my every day life and I really believe the ideals lead to a happier and more fulfilled existence.  It can be a challenge to define, but put simply Wabi Sabi encourages one to see the beauty in the imperfect.  As a designer, I see my fair share of the most beautiful products on offer.  Whilst this is a pleasure that I truly enjoy, I am very aware of over consumerism and really don’t like to see waste of items due to trends coming and going.

To design an interior scheme with Wabi Sabi ideals, first ensure the space is clutter free, clean and simple.  Ideally, handmade furnishings using honest, natural materials such as timber, stone, paper, natural fibres and clay (pottery) showcase nature and the ageing process.  Objects should not have any ‘status’ or make a statement of over importance.  Though it may not be realistic to live entirely in this manner, Wabi Sabi can be implemented in small ways and even the awareness can really will make a big difference to the way we live.

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