“Simplify!” Steve Jobs’ relentless quest for Zen design

Steve Jobs is known to have practiced the Soto-school of Japanese Zen, and is also known to have loved the kare-sansui garden of the Saijo-ji in Kyoto, which was founded by a prominent Zen priest/garden designer in the 14th century. Find how Jobs leveraged Zen philosophy to design simple and minimal Apple products.

Tofukuji kare-sansui by Mirei Shigemori

Japanese artist Mirei Shigemori (1896 – 1975) infused fresh energy into the traditional Japanese Zen rock garden (kare-sansui). Tofuku-ji Hojo garden in Kyoto is one of the most acclaimed works of his that still survives to this day. Find how traditional and modern, classic and avant-garde blend in his work while maintaining the serenity of Zen.

Demystifying the mysteries of Japanese aesthetics

What’s the common secret behind traditional Zen arts/culture, wabi-sabi, MUJI, Japanese architecture, sushi and Totoro? It’s the unique approach toward nature.

Abundance by subtraction in music: piano & Nobuyuki Tsujii

Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii cannot see. Yest his music is so powerful. A river runs through his music. What’s so special about his piano play?

Kenya Hara and the aesthetics of “emptiness”

Kenya Hara is a Japanese graphic designer who helped cement the philosophy of Japanese brand MUJI by leveraging the concept of “emptiness.” Even though these concepts might appear similar, “emptiness” in Japanese aesthetics is different from Western “simplicity,” observes Hara. Ultimately it has to do with how we perceive our relationship with nature.

Is it color? Or is it absence of color? White: color of Zero

Is white a color? Or is it absence of color? Discover through Harunobu Suzuki’s Ukiyo-e.

Zen perspectives in Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Las Vegas Project

Applied Origami, as state-of-the-art engineering

Re-discovering human-size comfort: MUJI’s Good Fit Right Angle Socks

We assume efficiency always brings us best outcome, but then why aren’t socks L-shaped? Check MUJI’s perpendicular, “Good fit right angle” socks that fit our body just right.

iFixit – rediscover the joy of making and repairing things

iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens passionately claims: “take something apart that doesn’t work, understand the problem so as you can fix it, and then put back together….is the greatest feeling in the world when it turns on and you know that YOU fixed it. It’s so exciting to know that YOU can control of your own hardware.”