The Japanese take good design very seriously. An awareness of the impermanence of life has shaped Japanese aesthetic traditions, cultural norms and classical philosophy based on principles and ideals which are rooted in Zen Buddhism.
Take for instance, the concept of mono no aware, which refers to a wistful awareness of transience. Another term, wabi-sabi, embraces the beauty of imperfection; while iki celebrates the refined qualities of simplicity and spontaneity in human nature. Together, these concepts allude to a way of being as well as a way of looking at the world. In product design, these philosophies are communicated through an appreciation of natural materials, imperfect textures and meticulous detailing. Today, the minimalist ethos of these ideals continue to bear influence on the work of art and design luminaries from Japan and around the world.
Look to the following lighting products, which celebrate elements of these aesthetic traditions:
1. Mystery eggs
From a distance, the Gregg outdoor suspension lamps from Foscarini might easily be mistaken for floating, otherworldly eggs, while its floor lamp version appears as glowing smooth boulders in the garden. The work of Milanese studio Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, these outdoor lamps are composed of rotational moulded polyethylene diffusers set onto a polyester powder-coated zinc alloy base. Available in various sizes, these lighting pieces can help create a Zen-like garden experience.
Available from Xtra