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When Le Corbusier decided to dedicate his career to creating better living conditions, particularly for those who lived in crowded cities, design world got a new concept to thrive on. The concept evolved over the years and over a period many features were added to it to suit people’s taste and changing times. We have moved too far from the time we fought two World Wars but some of the concepts invented then are finding relevance even today.
In fact, situation today seems to be worse than it was a century ago. Urbanisation is taking place at much faster pace than it was ever before. And more importantly, urbanisation is taking place at a rapid pace in world’s two most populous countries, viz., China and India. As a result, cities are becoming overcrowded and providing accommodation to growing population is a serious problem in many countries, including India. Remember, in 1927 world’s population crossed 2 billion number and today, India alone has a population of 1.33 billion! So, one can imagine the gravity of the problem we are facing in India. Perhaps we need further refinement of the concept or ‘micro minimalism’ to suit the needs of masses.
At the same time, one should also remember that minimalism was evolved not as a solution to urban housing problem. Minimalism may not say how to provide an affordable house to the needy but it can guide you how to live in a small affordable house comfortably and happily.
Minimalism is not anti-elitist. Ask architect Buckminster Fuller who has designed domes using simple geometric shapes that still stand and look modern today. Take the case of Swedish furniture company, IKEA. The furniture is so simple that it is designed for everyday people to be able to assemble with ease, often without even needing instructions due to it being self-explanatory. The principle of minimalism has universal application as it preaches simplicity.
One need to take a holistic view of the concept of minimalism as a whole and not treat it as just a design concept. Then we may find it more relevant and important in today’s life than ever before. Because life is not all about living within four walls but it is also about knowing oneself and re-inventing oneself. So, the principles of minimalism can be applied in every walk of life to lead a contented life which will eventually lead to a happy life. Adding only what’s needed and removing the rest is at essence of leading a happy life and minimalism is based on that principle.
sawdust.online brought out a special feature on “Minimalist Design” on 23rd April to 25th April. The feature has been well appreciated by our readers and some of them have given some suggestions too which we will take into account while planning our future special features. We take this opportunity to thank all our readers for supporting us. We also owe our gratitude to all the people who have contributed to this special feature by way of articles and write-ups without whose participation this special feature wouldn’t have been successful.