As the world is rushing through 2022 into the post-Covid era, design patterns are also rushing through changes. Critique has been mounted on the excessively minimalistic approaches that modern architecture takes.
In a Twitter thread posted by The Cultural Tutor, a debate has sprung concerning a possible “death of detail” crisis that the world is facing. The boom of social media information and the shortening of attention spans have contributed largely to this phenomenon.
Minimalism is a visual aesthetic linked to an art movement that evolved after World War II, believed to be a reaction to modernism and abstract expressionism. Artists came to drift away from heavy emotions that they saw to be distracting the art, creating in their words, the “purest form of beauty”.
Minimalism is basically a notion of reducing some creative entity to its raw elements. But this notion has been subject to fluctuation with radical changes in consumerism dominating our lifestyle.
Previously this architectural style was associated with simplicity, aiming to achieve harmony between man-made and environmental features of interior space. A key phrase used by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to describe it is “less is more”.
But by the beginning of the 21st century, minimalism came to symbolize organization and cleanliness with simple geometric shapes and a monochromatic color palette. “In a consumer culture, minimalism was always a somewhat fancy and ruse.”
So the Twitter debate on minimalism threatening to rob color and glory from our lives is significant in the world of design. Here are some examples of colorful and appealing minimalist pictures juxtaposed against drab and drained-out ones.
1. The bollard on the left has a distinctive look that sets it apart and makes it rememberable, but the right one has no such distinction.
2. The two phone booths are different: the left one is appealing due to its color, ornamented roof, and door make. The right one has no such appealing quality; it is stripped down to its basic function.
3. The centuries-old Gothic cathedral has detail written all over its walls, while the minimalist (despite their towering height) skyscrapers do not emit any comparable aesthetic radiance.
4. The same aesthetic concept applies to these bookcases. The left one exudes a regal quality whereas the right one is just an IKEA bookcase.
5. The doorbell on the left speaks of charm and character, making you feel good when you ring it. The right one just exists, with no extra feel to it.
6. The bar in the left photo is indicative of buzzing with life, whereas the minimalist bar in the right photo exudes a very formal tone, almost like a corporate meeting room.
8. Twitter users have even pointed out minimalist changes in famous logos. Here the previous Warner Brothers’ logo had a specific style with its glossy gold look, while the new logo seems nothing more than plain initials.
Recently owing to the pandemic years, people are consciously moving away from minimalist lifestyles.
Instead, there has been a rising trend towards an “aesthetic of excess” evident in flashy food and social media like 3D lips on Instagram, vanity corners, and surreal glam. This vibrant maximalism is gradually taking over with glamorous colors and ritzy patterns.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
Image sources: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
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