Wabi Sabi – The Art and Beauty of Imperfection

Wabi sabi is a Japanese art and philosophy of imperfection. Wabi sabi will free you from perfectionism. Research suggests that (most) people feel more comfortable and relax in slightly imperfect environments that may look a bit old, worn out or even shabby. The irregularity and to some extent fractality makes us feel more relaxed and gives us permission to be ok with imperfection and transience of things.

Examples of wabi sabi

Examples of wabi sabi

Research also suggests that slightly messy environments foster creativity and ingenuity (Alexander Fleming got his idea for penicillin because he had a messy lab). Wabi sabi to some extent encourages and embraces a creative mess and clutter (which some feng shui schools demonise). It is also in line with 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle) which states that 20% of effort should get you 80% of desired results. In short, don’t sweat the small stuff (if it’s unnecessary).

Many shops and workplaces now utilise wabi-sabi in their environments to encourage creativity, relaxation, embracing the rustic themes and actually to save money on unnecessary redecoration.

Example of wabi sabi in a workplace

Examples of wabi-sabi in a workplace

And another example of wabi-sabi below

Another example of wabi sabi in a hotel in Bosnia

Another example of wabi sabi in a hotel in Bosnia

Wabi sabi links to another 500-year-old Japanese art of  kintsugi or “golden joinery,” where instead of tossing old and broken pieces of pottery and ceramics, artists restore them with a lacquer that is mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. More examples of kintsugi

Kintsugi

Kintsugi or ‘golden joinery’

Read about other Japanese lifestyle concepts are forest bathing / shinrin-yoku, kanso and danshari – another Japanese concept for decluttering

Wabi Sabi – The Art and Beauty of Imperfection
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