Author Archive
The beauty of imperfection

The beauty of imperfection

I am currently very occupied and fascinated with the Japanese design principles of Wabi Sabi. Reading about the life philosophy and aesthetic ideals of Wabi Sabi (which is based on Zen Buddhism), I feel like so many of my thoughts on what good design consists of, and on the connection between human beings and objects...
The dream of self-sufficiency and simple living

The dream of self-sufficiency and simple living

This spring my family and I stayed for ten days at a small Bed and Breakfast, Baan Rao, on the island of Koh Lanta in southern Thailand. And the way the lovely family that owns and runs the Bed and Breakfast live their life, made me remember a dream that occasionally pops up in my...
The magic of things

The magic of things

Some things contain an aura. They attract your attention; they remind you of something or someone or somewhere (or someone you used to be), and you feel an immediate connection with them. They are magical. They are not necessarily beautiful, but they provide you with a delightful and sensual experience. You feel an intimate connection...
Instant payoff

Instant payoff

When implementing an aesthetic strategy, one of the initial consideration is deciding whether your are aiming for “instant presence” or “instant payoff”.  In my previous post,  I discussed the qualities of instant presence. Instant presence is an aesthetic experience that occurs as a result of extended payoff time, and a challenge of assumptions; the receiver...
Instant presence

Instant presence

Continuing the thoughts of my previous post – and thereby the development of the aesthetic strategy, I am working on at the moment – I intend to discuss what extending the “payoff time” includes, and why doing so (or not doing so) can be a strategic parameter. By prolonging the time it takes the receiver to understand...
Aesthetic strategy

Aesthetic strategy

At the moment I am occupied with the thought of creating a model for an aesthetic strategy. A way of organizing a design process around e.g. the following questions: What kind of aesthetic experience do you want your receiver to attain? Do you want your receiver to experience instant “payoff” (and thereby to be able to...
Catharsis: the purifying aesthetic experience

Catharsis: the purifying aesthetic experience

In Aristotle’s “Poetics” (from around 330 BC) the term catharsis is introduced – a term that has always fascinated and interested me, and which I find highly useful when seeking to explain why comfort zone breaking aesthetic experiences are a human need (discussed in my previous post) Catharsis is a greek word meaning “to purify”. Aristotle describes...
Breaking the comfort zone

Breaking the comfort zone

In my previous post I discussed whether aesthetic sustainability could be described as complexity, i.e. as an expression that keeps challenging what you expect when perceiving the world – and that drags you out of your comfort zone. The thought of a comfort zone breaking aesthetic experiences may seem odd. Most people would say that an...
The sublime and the complex expression

The sublime and the complex expression

My post on aesthetic sustainability finished with the following question: Is aesthetic sustainability only a matter of creating minimalistic, “clean” objects that you never get tired of looking at? Or can an aesthetically sustainable object also be an object that is so complex that you never feel like you are done with it? This is...
Aesthetic sustainability

Aesthetic sustainability

Aesthetic sustainability is about rethinking sustainability. About moving away from decomposition and recreation and towards recycling and minimal consumption. Away from viewing products as having a life cycle (birth and death) and towards anti-consumption (or at least minimal consumption) and products that last a lifetime. The ultimate sustainability must be buying a few, good things...