I vividly remember first learning about Japanese Zen as it applies to design in my college design studio and it was one of those “ah yes!” moments. The professor used a slide image (yes that’s right- a slide) of an old tea house that had a narrow slit vertically through the center of the wall. This forced a particular view of the garden. Zazen, a form of seated meditation, is all about calming the mind and body to a point that you are able to gain insight and enlightenment. So this narrow view into the garden was not done out of a dislike for open views, but so that your focus was purposely focused upon the beauty that was exposed to you, and not distracted by everything else. That has stuck with me through the years, and I have noticed that when designers simplify, strip down, and focus our attention to the bare beauty of an object, that is when I my little design heart just leaps for joy. Check out these moments of Zen below…….