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i give you something else: as rhetorical forms both "character" and "potential" work with slight irritation on the surface... not all answers given but more questions provoked.

think of poems for example. are they flawless?
they are quite the opposite.
quite the opposite.


so you might just want to research on your housepainters to discover their complete body of work.

maybe it is more than just shabby craftsmanship. maybe they are sublime avantgarde...

maybe you want to discuss them with a curator of the getty?

please keep us posted.

I once took a pottery class and I recall the teacher mentioning an ancient saying, addressing the natural spider cracks that often appear because of the heat in the kiln. The saying was something like:

"The imperfections reveal that which is perfect."

Purposeful flaws turned beautiful:

Cabbage Patch Kids: Dolls with unique defects (birthmarks, etc.)

Sony Aido: Robot pet that is cute when it malfunctions.

Enterprise Rental Car: You reserve a car. They rent it out to someone else who arrives before you do. You get treated like the most important person in the world by a hustling 20-30 yr old who has already formulated a gameplan (upgrade, deep discount, service offers, apologies, etc.) prior to your arrival.

This thread reminds me of the Japanese idea of "wabi sabi"- the aesthetics of impermanance and imperfection. Maybe a different cultures aproach to "beausage."

In May, Material ConneXion held an interesting day-long seminar in NYC called "Malfatto: Imperfect Design for a Better World." Li Edelkoort and Scott Henderson both spoke, as well as the creative director from steelcase. Counterpoints were abundant, with the "technology=innovation and mass production" take coming up against Edelkoort's more one-off, qualitative perspective. Seems the design community has yet to agree on how imperfection can play a role in meaningful design. Also makes me wonder if mass customization is a fair midway?(imperfection being added post perfection?)

examples of imperfect design: maps and globes

RE:....the creators of Navajo blankets purposely weave a flaw into each of their creations.

This is a tradition in islamic art as well...esp w. carpets as well

As Nigel said above, Japan has a tradition of celebrating imperfection. I first read of this in the book "A Thousand Cranes" by Yasunari Kawabata, which discusses the necessary flaws in the cups used in the tea ceremony.

John Maeda's Simplicity website had a post on this: ...each cup I acquire in my collection of ceramics needs to be more irregular and flawed than the last, in that perfect-imperfect way. This little routine of mine is the special ritual that brings me closer to nature (through a synthetic experience) in the techno-land of MIT. (http://weblogs.media.mit.edu/SIMPLICITY/archives/000091.html)

These posts also make me think of something I heard once about people and jobs. "People are, at best, a near fit and never a perfect fit." In this personality profiling, let's hire a "10" world: I like the idea of bringing unique imperfections to the task at hand. When I first joined the business world I felt I had to be a perfect fit. And then I began to realize my advantage was that I was not going to be what "they" were looking for, but I was likely to be what they needed.

This reminds me of a "Persian Flaw." The legend goes that back in the day (though I'm not sure what day it was), Persian rug makers were deeply religious and believed that only God could make something perfect. Therefore, in their humility before God, they would deliberately incorporate a small error, a flaw, into each rug. Thus a "Persian Flaw" revealed the rug maker's devotion to God. I imagine the rug buyer could/might share this sentiment. It also works as a hat tip to how we are all human and imperfect.

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