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The Present Tense


Minimalism Endures

July 17, 2018

According to architect John Pawson, “Minimalism is not defined by what is not there but by the rightness of what is and the richness with which this is experienced.” That notion explains why the design movement has continued to thrive well into the 21st century and why a sense of chic restraint defines the work of many of today’s top creatives.


Bronze U Bench by Christopher Stuart.


Eclipse Sconce by Phillipe Malouin for Roll & Hill.


Poltrona 019 by DIMORESTUDIO.

In fact, minimalism greatest achievement is creating things that look simple but actually require a great degree of thought, rigor and execution. Fundamentally, minimalism is about designers emphasizing the most essential elements of a product or subject whilst doing away with the extraneous. This less is more purview, which draws some influence from the art world and the oeuvres of Donald Judd, Mark Rothko and Frank Stella, is evident in the work of a new generation of designers whose pared-back aesthetic is applied to lighting, furniture and decor.


Detail of the Folio Desk by Yabu Pushelberg for Glas Italia.


Detail of the Trifecta tables by Christian Woo.

Minimalism remains synonymous with architecture, a seismic movement spawned after World War I by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and the Bauhaus school. Controversial from its inception, minimalism has weathered its share of criticism to remain one of the most enduring aesthetic foundations. After all, it’s long been said that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.


Atlas Table by Ben & Aja Blanc.