Living in Stillness – Japan’s Minimalist Design and Eastern Zen

ZenDesign-01

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

A Zen-style room is deliberately simple, and is the product of both strict attentiveness and concentrated insight. Such a state need not be dependent upon ‘knowing’, but it is most certainly reliant upon ‘wisdom’. The Buddhist tradition of Zen defines this state as that of a ‘monkey existing within a vast and empty space.’ This form of philosophical idealism is well-known, but it is only one side of the story, as Zen practitioners believe that a harmonious living space should be crafted from whatever materials are at hand. This is because the Zen lifestyle is fluid, and always striving for the establishment of peace in the environment. Whilst moving through empty space, wisdom informs the Zen practitioner how to change the atmosphere and functionality of a room.

Traditional Japanese interior design advocates a ‘return to nature’. In this regard, natural aesthetics are very much respected and are harmoniously combined. In today’s high-tech and high-paced life, people require more than ever the ability to retain physical and psychological balance. Through fresh and elegant interior design. This is actually the basic Eastern view of nature, and the traditional Zen-view is compatible with the thinking (and requirements) associated with modern interior design, and produce the perfect fusion.

The aims and practices of Zen are compatible with traditional Japanese design, and when combined, create a natural Zen-like minimalist perspective. Modern Japanese minimalist design becomes more natural, as the indoor environment is designed to create a naturally comfortable and stress-free ambience. This should not be surprising, as the design process often makes use of natural materials such as wood, stone, bamboo, rattan and plain textures. Managing the indoor greenery creates a natural, earthy, and elegant atmosphere.

Japanese design is premised upon simplicity. This is not only in accordance with Zen thinking, but is the very soul of interior design. This benefits those who now live in the hustle and bustle of the urban environment, and creates a natural quiet, simple, and elegant atmosphere. Such a design is rich in personal characteristics suitable for an urban population. Traditional Eastern culture is defined by its simple and natural philosophy. Today, this reality has combined with the thinking of modern Western design trends, and a fresh synthesis (combined without resistance) has been produced.

ZenDesign-02

 

Original Chinese Language Article

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_621deed20100gq4z.html

居尚生活〓【2】〓日本简约设计与东方禅宗

禅宗式居室的质朴要靠自觉,洞察力和注意力,这无须有知识但却要聪明,佛教禅宗曾将之定义为“广猿的空旷”。这种哲学唯心主义的一面是广为人知的,但这仅是一方面,禅宗练习者相信应将最为合适的材料用于最为和谐的居室中。禅宗的生活方式是流动的,提倡创造宁静,穿越空间却又灵动的足以改变气氛和居室的功能。

日本传统室内设计中提倡“回归自然”,美学上推崇自然、结合自然,才能在当今高科技、高节奏的社会生活中,使人们能取得生理和心理的平衡,因此室内设计风格清新淡雅。这实际是东方朴素的自然观、禅宗理论同现代设计思潮的的有机而堪称完美的融合.

由于其宗旨和手法的类同,也可把日本传统简约设计风格趋向于禅宗式的自然风格。现代的日式简约设计便更加趋向自然,在室内环境中力求表现悠闲、舒畅、自然的生活情趣,也常运用天然木、石、藤、竹等材质质朴的纹理。巧于设置室内绿化,创造自然、简朴、高雅的氛围。

日本简约化、自然化的设计,不仅仅能带有禅宗式设计的灵魂,而且给当今生活在喧嚣都市的人们,以宁静,自然、简朴、高雅的氛围。这样的设计富有人性化特点,适宜于都市人群。东方传统文化、朴素的自然的哲学观同现代西方先进设计的设计思潮,便找到了有机的思想理论结合点。东西方文化在此达成共识,相互注入无“排异”反应的新鲜血液……

 

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: