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Wabi-Sabi Timer: 
Expanding on Wabi-Sabi as Material to Design Temporal Form

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Wabi-Sabi is one of the Japanese aethetics, describing the beauty of "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete." 'Wabi-Sabi' has been discussed in HCI for years, which provided HCI a rich and unique design perspective. However current researches only discuss the choice of materials (physical form), and less focus on behaviours (temporal form) in interaction design. We believe that Wabi-Sabi can also bring HCI a poetic way of designing the expression. With research through design, we extracted five possible design elements from Wabi-Sabi, and implemented them into a 'one-minute timer'. We created five different temporal forms for timers, and conducted a field study with seven participants. Finally, we reflect our design process, and suggest the definition and possible implementation of five design elements, (A) one encounter one chance, (B) slow thinking, (C) leave blank, (D) destroy, (E) insist.


  • Research through Design

  • Semi-Structured Interview

  • Design Workshop

  • Thematic Analysis

Results & Contribution: 

  • [to be updated]

Collaborators & Acknowledgement: 

[to be updated]


Yu-Ting Cheng, Po-Wen Kong, Chien-Hui Chu, Chia-En Lee, Yi-Ting Lee, Rung Huei Liang. 2017. Expanding on Wabi-Sabi as Material
to Design Temporal Form. Proceedings of 2017 TAICHI Conference (TAICHI’17).

Author Version PDF


The following presents a brief introduction and research photos of the project. More details can be seen in my publication or contact me for further information.

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