By Gregory Starbuck, May 3 2017 10:24AM
As a definition, minimal refers to something being in its most reduced form, the least, a token, nominal, small.
As an art movement beginning in the 1950’s minimalism was about simplicity, stripping away of embellishments, creating avant-garde objects in large form to emphasise the lack of adornment.
In interior design, we might think of modernist design as being minimalist, furniture that fuses utility and simplicity, into the essence of its form.
So, minimalism is not a new concept, but it is a concept which addresses the anxieties and stresses of our 21st century way of life.
Most of us carry our entire social sphere around in a tiny touchscreen device. We can look upon the world through these tiny windows, on average only a few inches across.
Anything is possible, at any time of the day.
No longer do we have the exciting anticipation, waiting for the delivery of new items of clothing or some other thing that is purchased from a mail order company, now it is virtually instantaneous.
I often hear in my therapy room about social anxiety. Clients worrying about, am I doing the right thing, saying the right thing, looking the right way?
These tiny windows of technology enable us to view a ‘perfect’ world full of people living seemingly amazing lives, and you can have this all too if you ‘look the right way, say the right thing, do the same as everyone else’.
I recently watched a documentary called ‘Minimalism’ about two men in America, who had climbed the corporate ladder, made some money, and had lots of ‘stuff’, but didn’t have happiness.
The documentary follows the journey of these two men from state to state, promoting their book ‘The Minimalists’, along the way interviews are conducted with others who have also taken the step to ‘edit’ the world they inhabit, and take it back to the essentials.
The point of the documentary isn’t just about living in a space with the bare minimum of belongings, although that is part of it, but it goes further to promote a greater global awareness of minimalization.
Consuming less from the environment, consuming fewer products, and maximising our relationships.
Driving the point home the documentary features footage of crowds of ‘shoppers’ on Black Friday. Scenes that are shocking in the extreme of people fighting over goods in stores, not because they ‘need’ it, but because they don’t want to miss out on a great deal.
So if you are feeling like you need to change the way you live, watch ‘Minimalism’, and be inspired.