7 Japanese Principles

Garr Reynold’s blog on all things related to presentation design – PresentationZen – is easily one of the finest I’ve ever encountered.  I’ve blogged about it often, and continue to find a wealth of insights and helpful tools on it.  A great example of this is Reynold’s post on 7 Japanese aesthetic principles to change your thinking:

Beginning to think about design by exploring the tenets of the Zen aesthetic may not be an example of Lateral Thinking in the strict sense, but doing so is a good exercise in stretching ourselves and really beginning to think differently about visuals and design in our everyday professional lives…

Kanso – Simplicity or elimination of clutter
Fukinsei – Asymmetry or irregularity
Shibui/Shibumi – Beautiful by being understated
Shizen – Naturalness; Absence of pretense or artificiality
Yugen – Profundity or suggestion rather than revelation
Datsuzoku – Freedom from habit or formula
Seijaku – Tranquility or an energized calm (quite), stillness, solitude

As Reynolds explains, “The principles are interconnected and overlap; it’s not possible to simply put the ideas in separate boxes”.  But, his post does a fine job of making these timeless principles available to us, so that we can use them to change our thinking on a number of things, not just design-related challenges.  Read the entire post.

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