Dym  |  california textiles


Flawed Goods


Curious to know what the collective consciousness had to say about flawed goods, I searched for “artisan imperfection name,” or what is it called when artisans allow, intentionally or not, irregularity in their work. Near the top of the search list, I found a marketing essay by someone named Rohit Bhargava on the Observer. The article reaches its climax in this paragraph:

"Adding even more urgency to this trend (of imperfection in products) is the fact that it has become harder than ever for any products or services to truly stand out and attract attention thanks to the growing demands on consumer’s time. Perfect products are easy to overlook because they don’t create any sort of discord with the world around them. Unperfection, on the other hand, creates a discord our brains are hard wired to notice."

Rohit Bhargava is CEO and founder of the Influential Marketing Group and author of Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict the Future.

I have a firm response to this—what is it, attitude? philosophy? approach?—and that response is, No, not at all. Consumers may be overwhelmed with choice. But what are they really looking for? They are apparently looking for things to adorn themselves and their spaces, or to reflect or enhance their social status. Perhaps, though, they are also looking for answers to life’s discomforts - things that will anchor them just a little closer to their lives.

Do perfect products accord and resonate with the world? Umm, no. Cleanliness, flat color, orderliness are pretty much at odds with growing systems, which is everywhere except in design magazines. Artisans, and others’ “flaw” or disorder actually link any given thing to all the other constantly interweaving and changing.


miriam dym