Design, in its purest form, stems from the feeling before function. It represents the human condition, delineating how we experience environments and interact with reality. Omotenashi, the Japanese ethos of hospitality, personifies the essence of this idea. Similar to a seed growing towards the sun, omotenashi design unfolds organically; every detail is intentional, the construction streamlined, the invocation harmonious.
In place of solving problems through equipment or technology, omotenashi creates an experience that is intuitively understood by the guest without inconvenience. It requires careful consideration of every element, anticipating the needs of patrons before they are aware of those needs themselves. This guides the designer to create something that is both comfortingly familiar yet unexpected. The intention is to evoke an emotional and psychological response, like a forgotten melody and suddenly remembered, resonating deep within the soul.
The designer assumes a host mindset, inviting the guest into their home, creating an atmosphere that is comfortable and welcoming. It's reminiscent of a tea ceremony—minimal and streamlined, yet open to endless possibilities. This approach supersedes practicality and function, delving into the emotional and symbolic value of each element, invoking a sense of tranquility; a home transcending space or location.
These designs represent the incorporation of the principles of omotenashi in my life. They articulate how I want to interact with my environment, curating quietly convenient, visually harmonious and ubiquitously applicable standards of design.
I‘ve learned that ingenuity without intention can be folly—sometimes it's best to allow a form to unravel itself.