What is minimalism in design and architecture?
Minimalism is stripping everything down to its most simple form, removing every unnecessary detail and ornamentation where no one can remove anything further to improve the design.
“Cleaning” the space, and considering the “essences” that are: form, light, material, space, place, and the human condition, allowing the creation of a sense of order and essential quality. Minimalism is mostly considering the spiritual dimension, by paying attention to the surroundings, the environment in which the design is placed, and the people using it, while looking closely to the invisible: light, sky, earth and air.
“Less is more” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Many architects have worked on this architectural trend, one of its pioneers in the western civilization being Mies van der Rohe, creating an impression of extreme simplicity through his building arrangements—working on elements that would work as multi-functional; for example, designing a floor to also serve as the radiator, or a massive fireplace to also house the bathroom.
“Doing more with less” – Buckminster Fuller
When / where was it first practiced?
Minimalism has been highly influenced by the Japanese culture of ZEN philosophy. Which transmits the ideas of freedom and essence of living. It is not only an aesthetic value but also has a moral perception of truth and inner qualities which reflects on the essence of material and objects
It became most popular in London and New York in the 1980s, where architects and fashion designers were using white elements, cold light, large spaces and minimum objects, in order to achieve the most refined form of simplicity.
How to transform your home into a minimalist space?
- Clear walls and surfaces
- Organize your stuff, keep them out of sight, and consider not buying what you don’t really need
- Simple geometric forms in decoration, furniture, and artwork
- Minimal color usage
- Plain patterns
- Minimal, essential, and multi-functional furniture
- Clear surfaces
- Quality over quantity
Are you mentally ready for minimalism?
Minimalism is not just a decoration style, it’s a way of living, and you have to be ready to transform your life and change your mindset for it to suit you. It is completely do-able though, but it just needs a bit more effort than most people think.