Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lagom

A fascinating piece on the Swedish word that sums up Swedish psyche and society: lagom.  It basically means "just the right amount." In short, the middle road- the Goldilocks of all things.  The article makes some interesting points on the conformist value of lagom in Swedish society. Don't stand out.  Don't be too loud.

I am reminded of Japan, and the troubles I had there with rules I never seemed to get right.  There is a saying in Japan, "the nail that sticks out the farthest gets hammered back."

The precision of both Swedish and Japanese society makes me wonder if there is something to that middle road societal conformity that affects the culture of design.  If you can't make something brighter or bigger, because that disturbs wa (Japanese for harmony), then perhaps you have to make it subtly better with thought going into angles and design. 

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