A Short History | Minimalism
During the 1960’s – 70’s Minimalism thrived within America mainly in the visual arts. Although it did begin to inspire a variety of uses within music, design and literature later on, it all began in post World War II when a strong use of the style established itself within western art. Essentially Minimalism undresses work down to its crucial features in an attempt to create a room of pure exposed function.
In the words of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1983: 87) “Less is more”.
Within an interior space it’s defined by large windows, open plan layouts, clean, fine finishes and a use of elegant colour. Although whilst these traits reflect the obvious, Minimalist interiors can create a fantastic use of space.
More common in Japan it makes the most of small areas with a fee ling of compact. Efficiently combining more commonly used materials such as glossy metals (chrome, polished steel, and stainless steel), glass and the colour white can also have a distressing effect. This clinical almost hospitalized theme through-out a permanent living environment doesn’t provide the essential warmth within a home.
Coincidently as residential use of the style goes; rugs and earth tones are used as not to take away from the fundamentals of the design but still to add this warmth. Furnishings within Minimalism are typically thought of as the Panton chair by Verner Panton and the Noguchi coffee table designed by Isamu Noguchi. Designs such as these are most noted for their element of ‘sleek’. Characterized mainly again with use of clinical materials the central focus of Minimalism is always utilized throughout the designing process.
When all is considered Minimalism produces a function over form aesthetic that runs through-out all of its designs. Some of its design solutions have allowed for an inspiring, intelligent combination of various items and as a result has altogether changed some of the ways in which interior designs are approached. “Doing more is less” Buckminster Fuller.