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  • Writer's picturePrerana Maheshwari

Embracing Imperfection

Is anything really Im-perfect ?


As a creative individual, my mind is constantly whirring with ideas or questions. These ideas and questions are sometimes penned down but it usually halts at that. So, I decided to type them out and answer them by seeking inspiration from all those creators out there.

One such question has lingered on for too long! I found myself thinking about all the awareness that has been created around body positivity, as well as the importance and emphasis on mental health. The impact of this on the fashion industry; which has changed its stringent ideas of beauty.

1. Maeve Giani Marshall photographed by Peter DeVito ; 2.Glamour magazine- Brazil (Pantys/Reprodução) ; 3. Sara Shakeel- Glitter stretch marks

The way we embrace imperfections in ourselves; we can see the rise in regard to acceptance of imperfections in surface design. Hence, Creating an environment which is more accepting. Although, it’s important to mention that design imperfections affecting functionality cannot be accepted — such as a set of flatware designed in 1957 , though very aesthetically pleasing don’t serve the functional purpose.


Set of flatware designed in 1957 by Arne Jacobsen


As a Designer, I would like to discuss this question in relevance to design. In a world that’s constantly evolving, we find ourselves at a point where acceptance has become an important attribute. Over the years, there has been a drastic shift away from structured , organised , predictable and consistent designs to the very opposite.

Rust

Rip

Crush

Stretch

Squash

Crunch

Each word creates an image of a texture or surface in our minds. These words create an image of destruction. Yet, we resonate them with an object or material we have seen.

Imperfection takes away control. Uncertain and unpredictable outcomes force the human mind to take a step back and delve into their thoughts. This has led to the widening of ideas related to beauty, irregularity has gained appreciation. There is no right and wrong. This has caused a significant rise in demand for handmade.

Imperfection creates a narrative; character is synthesised into design by introducing techniques to variate the use of colour, material and finish.

In India, people were encouraged by Mahatma Gandhi to spin their own yarns on a Charkha , before Independence in order to create their own fabric known as Khadi. Handspun yarns tend to have irregularities creating a unique texture and feel depending on the yarn count. These aren’t seen as defects but are embraced as the identity of the fabric.

Handwoven Khadi fabric sourced by me from Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan

We now see designs that have techniques and finishes that we would have otherwise considered as damaged. A metal finish known as Hammertone is being used considerably in the Industrial design sector as a design element. This finish developed by covering irregularities while welding metal.

Hammertone finished metal plant holder by Eric Trine

James Pegg creates Action-cast porcelain objects by pouring layers of colours to create an element of spontaneity. Each outcome is unpredictable , making it unique and interactive.

Action cast porcelain by James Pegg

Imperfections are a part of creation. They may appear during the process of creation due to certain material properties or perhaps be created due to an environmental impact or reaction (rust). Imperfections are also the remnants after degradation/destruction.

Utilising these flaws only makes a design unique and humane.


Published on 7 June 2020 via Medium

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