noble materials y katachi

There are quite a few books out there entitled Ikigai, but this is the one I did find in the one book store chain that to this day has been providing a decent selection of books in English here in Peking. Sensitively written and designed, it gives a delicately beautiful glimpse on Japanese culture and mentality.

And I wanted to share today this concept from page 64: katachi, seemly a traditional Japanese solution to the riddle form-function that has confused Western designers since late 19 century (more on this in the next post). They had it very clear that there is not such a gap between these two concepts. Katachi is written using the Chinese character 形, standardly translated form, but it has a much richer field of connotations:

this is katachi, that considers the narrative between the outer contours of an object, its purpose and its intended meaning. As a guiding principle in design, katachi leads to the creation of sensitive, elegant objects across the material of wood, bamboo, stone and earth, guiding us towards the appreciation of their workmanship and special spirit

Mari fujimoto, Ikigai & other japanese words to live by (2019 elwin street productions limited), P. 64.

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