Aesthetic Preference – Minimalism

I created interest by a very subtle change in tone.

This preference follows on from Modernism. The relevant phrases will be things like “clean lines”, “uncluttered” and “simplicity”.

Minimalism can represent authority, formality and the future.  The movie sets depicting the authoritarian dystopia are often very minimalist. However, a minimalist aesthetic can also facilitate clarity, ease, and allow the focus to be on a few very high quality, comfortable pieces. Minimalist doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable, although it sometimes does in satire.

When we visualize minimalism we often think in white, black or greys. But color can work, as long as it is used carefully, as an accent or in a monochrome manner. In Minimalism you can see Elements of Design very clearly – line, shape, space, proportion, contrast – and the principle of Balance.

Minimalism can mean absence. What is not there can be noticeable. And while it is often associated with a hi-tech aesthetic, it is not new. For example, the Shaker aesthetic (which followed from their beliefs) rejects ornament and embodies Minimalism in the sense of just enough to function well.

Shaker room
Shaker Room from New Lebanon, 1830-40, saved and on display at The Met, NY

That absence of the unnecessary is the heart of intentional Minimalism. The focus, like Modernism, is on the materials, the surface, the inherent structure and the shape.

You might like minimalism if you love Givenchy  back in the day, Donna Karan and Mary Quant, you prefer e-books and plenty of space on your bookshelf, keep your photos digitally, and only buy your art supplies as you need them. You have a few well used and loved tools, rather than drawers full of stuff.

Here’s a website about living a happy Minimalist life.

Minimal can be fun to play with. I made this – so please download and print if you want.
And here’s another minimalist design that I made.