Nicolette Naumann, vice president of the German consumer goods fair Ambiente explains at the Serax stand what the latest trend 'wabi sabi' entails.

Ambiente vice president Nicolette Naumann on the Serax booth at Ambiente

During the 2018 Ambiente fair, hall 4.0 of the Frankfurt Messe was entirely dedicated to the latest trends in fine dining. Where in 2017 the Danish 'hygge' dominated the design scene, we now see 'wabi sabi' from Japan taking over. In Japanese, wabi sabi means 'perfection in imperfection' and it originates from Zen Buddhism. In design, it translates into products with an authentic and handmade look. The imperfections of the mainly natural materials such as wood, stoneware, iron, concrete and such are no longer being polished away. On the contrary. If anything, they are emphasised.

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The concrete vases and plates by Frédérick Gautier, for example, represent a kind of brutalism that accentuates the texture and the imperfection of the material, making any kind of embellishment superfluous. None of the plates is perfectly round, no surface is completely smooth. "Ten years ago, people would have thought that it was a production error," explains Nicolette Naumann. "But nowadays it is made in such a way on purpose, ensuring that the warm, authentic appearance is not lost, not even when a product is manufactured industrially in large numbers." 
Although the general trend in wabi sabi is for the colours, shapes, and styles to become more robust and masculine than was the case with hygge, we still see an evolution. For example, the white porcelain Perfect Imperfections collection by Roos Van de Velde adds a certain kind of elegance to the sense of wabi sabi. A kind of fragility that merges with a robust appearance.
Today, trends will not be dictated anymore. People no longer want to be bound to one style with perfectly matching colour schemes, they want to mix and match. 'Eclectic', if you will. The basic, authentic, and natural look of wabi sabi design sits perfectly in this era of combining. As is the case with the La Nouvelle Table and MEALx3 collections by Merci for Serax, where you can play to your heart's content with shapes, colours, sizes and ... delicacies from all corners of the world. Serax blurs all the boundaries.

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