To be Simpler and Simpler: Minimalism
To be Simpler and Simpler: Minimalism
  • Reporter Kwon Woo-jung
  • 승인 2013.11.06 14:36
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‘The simpler the shape, the better it is.’ Over the past few years, this phrase has become a kind of formula for success in many kinds of industries. From the huge buildings in the city to those big and small house appliances and electronic devices, people have shown their preference for simpler designs.
It has been especially evident in mobile phone industry for the past decade. Only ten years ago, it was the number of functions the mobile phone has that people put their most emphases on when determining which phone to buy; thus, companies only competed in putting more and more functions within a device regardless of the simplicity in its design. However, Apple, generally known as the forerunner of simple designs in electronics, embarked on manufacturing a very simple type of phone and MP3. iPhone and iPod, which are two major products of Apple, have only one round button at the front and a few small side buttons. But people’s responses to those products were tremendous, and, still, most people acknowledge the great design of those products. After that, a myriad of phones with minimal designs, with only the essential parts, flooded into the market.
Like the example of the phone market above, people are giving more preferences to the simpler design, and that tendency is called minimalism. However, it did not start in the twenty-first century. Minimalism was originated from the American visual arts in 1960-70s. The newness is merely that it is applied to design. There is slight difference in the concept of minimalism depending on where it is applied. In music, it is reflected as a repetition of the same or similar notes and constant chords while, in art, using less number of colors and only simple geometric frames represents minimalism. In spite of all these minor differences, what they have in common is ‘the simpler, the better’ and ‘less is more.’
This change in people’s preferences is also reflected in house designs. Recently, many people tend to put a minimum number of house appliances or furniture in their houses. Also, they either unify the color or choose furniture of the same style so that the entire house looks simple and in order. It is obvious in the picture above, which is a room designed by a minimalist. The first thing that is noticeable is color: white chair, white table, white wall, and even white floors but one black window frame. Also, most objects in the room are made of straight lines, which bring more feelings of simplicity.
Talking about Minimalism, people usually say ‘back to minimalism’ because there was a gap between the early minimalism of 1960s and that of present days. Possibly, people’s preferences may turn to another type of design style just like it did recently. However, for now, simplicity is the one that should be taken into consideration when dealing with any type of businesses or producing goods.