The simplicity isn’t just about say minimalism in design it’s about thoughtful reduction.
Exploring simplicity helps in developing a strategy to think constructively about what’s of value in the 21st Century.
It helps inform a mindset that takes pleasure from honing things down and paring things back; it’s about seeking out and seeing the essence of an object; it’s about celebrating form following function and the creation of focused, effective artefacts and honesty to materials; but also and crucially it’s about achieving sufficient headspace to appreciate the fact that less really can mean more.
prior knowledge + (an idea + energy) = sustainable progress
knowledge = experience /use = progress
‘The minimum could be defined as the perfection that an artefact achieves when it is no longer possible to improve it by subtraction,’ says Jon Pawson in Minimalism, he goes on to say, ‘This is the quality that an object has when every component, every detail and every junction has been reduced or condensed to the essentials. It is the result of the omission of the inessentials. The idea of simplicity is a recurring ideal shared by many cultures – all of them looking for a way of life free from the dead weight of an excess of possessions. From Japanese concepts of Zen, to Thoreau’s quest for simplicity, minimal living has always offered a sense of liberation, a chance to be in touch with the essence of existence, rather than distracted by the trivial.
Clearly simplicity has dimensions to it that go beyond the purely aesthetic: it can be seen as the reflection of some innate, inner quality or the pursuit of philosophical or literary insight in to the nature of harmony, reason, and truth. Simplicity has a moral dimension, implying selflessness and unworldliness. The cult of simplicity has been advocated by almost every kind of religious and spiritual sect, from the Quakers to the Buddhists, and represented by them, whatever their other beliefs, as a virtue that can purify the spirit, and can offer adherents a sense of inner tranquillity.’
We live in times of unprecedented challenge and change; where technology is accelerating at a pace our minds can hardly keep pace with; the majority of us rely on technology we have little understanding of or control over in almost every aspect of our lives. So many gadgets, so many ways to communicate and express ourselves, so much to do and see and say, and seemingly so little time to do it all in. We’re move towards ever more complexity at unsurpassed speed and that complexity, rather than simplifying our lives, is clouding our thoughts and distancing us from the physical world.
I think there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity. Simplicity is derived from so much more than the absence of clutter and ornamentation – it’s about bringing order to complexity.
Ironically not a guru of minimalism but Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of design at Apple
Simplicity can be seen as – Singular : Fundamental : Not bound by time : Clear and focused : Elegant : About less.
Simplicity is about:
- stripping away or paring back the unnecessary
- removing unnecessary clutter in all its forms
- eschewing the mindset of more, of acquiring and consuming and shopping, of
bigger is better
- finding an antidote to the burden of stuff
- is an aesthetic of spareness
- valuing quality, not quantity. Qualities such as association or connection to a time, place, or person
- celebrating the beauty of the seemingly mundane and often ignored
- letting things go and understanding that – like holding a handful of sand – the tighter you squeeze the less you can hold
- omitting needless things
- identifying the essential functions of objects
- having an open mind and encouraging a constant process of editing, reflecting, revisiting and, through experience, editing still more
- making everything count
For example, ‘Simbo’ the simple boat…