WABI-SABI

Derived over time from the 15th century tea ceremony in Japan, Wabi-Sabi says that as things age they become more beautiful. Wabi-Sabi is organic and eschews any decoration that is not integral to structure.

Excerpts from Leonard Koren’s book “Wabi-Sabi, for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers,” provide a meaningful (and convenient) design philosophy and support for John Hix’s work on Vieques Island and internationally. Koren explains it plainly by contrasting Wabi-Sabi with the modern movement.

WABI-SABI

Ostensibly crude
Bowl as metaphor
One-of-a kind
Natural materials
To everything there is a season
Living for the present
Generally dark and dim
People adapting to nature
Earthy, imperfect, variegated
Fundamental uncontrollability of nature
Personal idiosyncratic solutions
Accommodates degradation and attrition
Corrosion makes its expression richer
Comfortable with ambiguity & contradiction

MODERNISM

Ostensibly slick
Box as metaphor
Mass produced-modular
Manmade materials
Everlasting
Living for the future
Generally light and bright
People adapting to machines
Polished, smooth, seamless
Control of nature
Universal prototypical solutions
Needs to be well maintained
Purity makes its expression richer
Intolerant of ambiguity & contradiction

 

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