Here at Philip Parker we believe in clean classic design in watches accomplished with highest quality standards and premium materials. Minimalism has been the source of great inspiration for us. So let’s have a look at it.
Over the late 20th century Minimalism became one of the most prominent styles in all creative disciplines including art, design, architecture, photography, theatre, fashion, dance and film-making, music and literature. And there are apparent explanations to it. Firstly there is overall concern about unhealthy consumerism, when we don’t appreciate stuff we own. Secondly there is a rapid development of technology and digitization of our lives. Thirdly there is a tendency for happy fulfilling life with sense of wonder and deeper connection to the surrounding us environment where objects are not overwhelmed with superfluous decoration and pretentiousness. And at the end minimalist design is extremely beautiful.
In past few years minimalist principal even has evolved into a popular philosophy and a lifestyle. Where minimalists tend to live their lives lightly with only having truly important essential things, refusing anything they feel unnecessary.
The overall concept of minimalism is defined by minimizing distractions from what is truly valuable or essential. It embraces impersonal austerity, anti-figurative forms, accessibility, simple structure, logic, clean sleek lines, geometric shapes and primary colours. Minimalist design is crisp, accurate, has precise composition and absence of any lavish highly decorative elements. However Minimalism is bigger than just simplicity and is highly aesthetic and perfectly elegant.
Here is a great visual example from Maarten P. Kappert illustrating Minimalism:
Left House: Location unknown (image source)
Right House: “Ghost House” in Suginami, Tokyo
Where Minimalism comes from?
Minimalism has its origins in visual American art of 1960s-1970-s with predecessors in Russian constructivism, Bauhaus movement, Japanese traditional design and De Stijl movement.
Minimalism in Art:
Minimalist paintings have very simple serial arrangements of geometric shapes and monochrome colours; artists often use natural and industrial materials, and modern technology such as fluorescent electric lights. In today Neo-minimalism there is more complexity in terms of shades shapes, but still it remains very limited in terms of operating means. All minimalist paintings are very realistic, where subject being the painting itself. Often minimalist works blur the line between painting and sculpture.
Some of the most influential minimalists include Buckminster Fuller, Dieter Rams, Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, Frank Stella.
Frank Stella: Harran II, 1967 Dan Flavin: Untitled, 1972-73
Minimalism in Interior Design and Architecture
van der Rohe, the author of main Minimalism principle “Less Is More”.
His approach was oriented towards simplicity and clarity, modern construction materials, reduction of structural frameworks and use of open space. And principles of his work are still relevant today.
Minimalist architecture has started gaining its popularity in 1980s in London and New York and is highly influenced by traditional Japanese design and the concept of Zen philosophy
It focuses on extreme simplicity through perfect planes, void spaces with minimum objects and furniture, lots of light, use of latest technology trends and natural quality materials, it has great details (fe lighting) but no decorations, it is very geometric and crisp.
Minimalism in Swedish design:
Sweden is famous for its functional minimalist design especially in furniture, product, graphic design and fashion. Swedish minimalism in design has developed from the same predecessors as the rest of the world.
The main trait of Swedish design is functionalism with simple and beautiful aesthetics. Swedish nature, the long winters and few hours of sunlight inspired Swedish designers to create bright, light, practical objects. They tried to make surrounding environment as comfortable as possible with natural limited materials at hand. Eventually these trends were picked up by neighbour countries and spread all over the world.
Left Image: photo by Andreas Sjodin for J. Lindberg 2010 campaign
Right Image: product design by Clara von Zweigbergk