I just posted this review of Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers by Leonard Koren:

This is a wonderful little book about the Japanese art style called Wabi-sabi. The book is short, and many of the pages consist solely of full-page photographs illustrating the ideas. So it’s a quick read, but worth taking the time to read slowly, let it sink in, and then read again.

Wabi sabi itself originated as an eclectic style of the Japanese tea ceremony, emphasising the impermanence and ever-changing quality of all things. But the book keeps its feet on the ground and doesn’t spend too much time deep in Zen territory.

I read this book on Kent Beck’s recommendation during the early years of eXtreme Programming — see http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WabiSabi for more on that. As an XP/agile coach I recommend it to any team that gets hung up on the search for perfection, to remind them that every state is transitional, and the idea of anything being “finished” is an illusion.


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