Modern minimalist design is becoming increasingly popular among many young professionals. This is evident not just from interior design trends, but also in consumption patterns of goods which can be categorised as such.
What modern minimalist design emphasises is a focus on simplicity and strong lines, and a preference for order.
This is understandable. In today's hectic world where garish, loud advertisements endlessly bombard, and attention is drawn in multiple directions at the same time, it's no wonder that there is appreciation for things clean, simple and meditative.
This explains the popularity of Muji household and lifestyle products. The brand prides itself on selling high quality items with 'no brand'. The products are understated, mostly in neutral earth tones and seldom, if not never, in any elaborate packaging.
It's the idea of simplicity, "aiming to bring a quiet sense of calm into strenuous everyday lives", that attracts consumers, who are more than willing to fork out cash for this.
Apple is another brand known for minimalism. Their design aesthetic sets it aside from other technology companies, and fans worship the clean lines and the emphasis on ease of use in all their products. Apple soared to popularity a while back, even though detractors argued that there were numerous other products in the market that were more powerful, and at lower prices.
Clean and simple products do not imply that efforts on the design process are discounted though. As The New Yorker states, "it is tempting to describe Muji’s goods as basic, but that would belie the sophistication and premeditation at work". Steve Jobs was also quoted saying, "It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions."
It requires will to discard, and to ensure that your eventual goal is freedom from distraction and excess. It's not too far from the idea of decluttering actually, popularised by Marie Kondo's best-selling book on minimalism, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up".
So it's not about regression - reducing products from their more developed state to an easier, less sophisticated version. It's about careful evaluation and selection. Faced with an entire array of features, colours and textures you can include in a product, what would you consider redundant and what would you consider essential?