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What is Minimalist Design?

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Minimalism has become a modern lifestyle buzzword, with its own media gurus promising that keeping our homes in order and simplifying our lives will help us cope with an overwhelming world. Minimalist design, on the other hand, is an influential visual style with an established history in architecture, interiors, art, graphics, fashion and almost every other field of design. Minimalist design is about prioritizing the essential. A minimalist building, object or interior design is reduced to its basic function, realized using limited materials, neutral colors, simple forms and avoiding excessive ornamentation to achieve pure elegance. While the final expression of minimalist design may seem effortlessly simple, spare as a poem and clear as a bell, achieving this kind of powerful simplicity is no easy feat. Minimalist design has continued to grow in popularity over the past century, but for every fan there is a maximalist critic who says it lacks imagination and heart, is boring or vicious. While minimalist architecture and product design can sometimes be cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and ultimately contribute to the democratization and accessibility of good design, it has also become synonymous with the rare quest for the perfect object, a luxury that only the privileged can afford, and that leads to its own perpetual excess. may cause.

A Brief History of Minimalist Design

Minimalist design emerged in the 20th century as a reaction and rejection of the highly decorative styles of the past, from frilly Victorian architecture to Abstract Expressionist art. Some design historians trace the origins of minimalism to the simplified forms outlined by the Dutch De Stijl movement from 1917 to the early 1930s, and it is widely accepted that traditional Japanese gardens and interiors were influenced by the zen simplicity and clean aesthetic of Scandinavia. design. Whatever the mantra of minimalist design, it is a quote from the legendary German architect Mies Van Der Rohe, who was one of the key architects associated with the Bauhaus and modernism in post-war Europe and the USA. Glass, steel, and concrete were combined with the construction processes brought about by mass production, creating minimalist structures that often look as fresh and contemporary as they did decades ago. Minimalist design shares its DNA with Modern Architecture, Bauhaus Architecture, Brutalist Architecture, and mid-century modern design.

Minimalist graphic design, art, theater and fashion came into their own in the 1960s. In the field of product design, legendary figures such as Dieter Rams, the German industrial designer whose mantra "Less is more" guides the design of everyday objects such as desktop radios, calculators and lacquered software, launched a whole new world in minimalist product design. Minimalist interior design and home decoration, which became popular for the first time in the Victorian era and increased in popularity, today offers simple and functional alternatives to ornate, excessively accessorised, cramped interiors thanks to the 20th century consumer culture.

Key Features of Minimalist Design

  • Little but efficient

  • Focus on functionality

  • Clean, simple lines

  • Sculptural forms

  • Getting rid of unnecessary embellishments

  • Colorful monochrome, limited color palette sometimes used as accents to create a relaxing environment

  • Use of limited, well-chosen materials such as concrete, steel, glass and wood

  • Everything has a place and a purpose.

  • Use of space and natural light

  • View of craftsmanship

  • Airy and uncluttered interior design with often open play layouts and seamlessly integrated storage

Are you ready to make a minimalist design for your home? Do you need a holistic design consultancy?

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