Thoughts shared by JMJ
Is it that ‘Less is More’ or is it that ‘Less is a Bore’???
“Minimum – the perfection that an artifact achieves when it is no longer possible to improve it by subtraction. 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.” – John Pawson – Minimum
I have come to realize that my ‘inner eye’ performs best when I keep my surroundings trimmed to the minimum. Clutter disturbs my concentration – multiple patterns will send my thought process into a state of chaos. When I read Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s philosophical declaration – ‘Less is more.’ – I knew that I had finally heard my mantra. His architectural influence spanned Europe and the Americas with the design and construction of his minimalist residences, while his influence in furniture spanned the globe. His use of the simple ‘X’ shape in the frame of his ‘Barcelona’ chairs and stools represented his nod to the ancient symbol of strength. After centuries of ornate furnishings, those in the world who preferred a cleaner look took a collective sigh of relief and embraced his very developed eye for the uncluttered, the simple, the minimal – for furniture as a modern art form.
Too many items crammed in a space prevent me from achieving fluid thought. I have come to believe that when we live in the midst of clutter, our thoughts and decision-making suffer for it. Effectively, the less I want, the more I have. The less I keep within the ‘visual frame’ of my mind’s eye, the more I am able to ‘see’. When I contemplate the eternal circle of a Zen garden, I feel a calm gently replace my chaotic feelings and I can re-approach my work with renewed concentration.
As one of those designers who sport a ‘professional uniform’ of monochromatic black, I can reassure everyone that the best way to ‘see’ a color or benefit from the poetry of a curving shape is to remove the distraction of surrounding pattern or color. The act of bringing one’s surroundings to that state of ‘minimum’ permits us to appreciate the few select objects of our choosing for their value as an art form. An object’s form, the manner in which light and dark play upon the smooth or textured surface, the size of the object and how it artfully enhances our living space – all functions to bring special meaning to our lives. Everyday objects, when sparsely arranged in a living space, are elevated to a status of ‘artform’.
Mies van der Rohe had right when he proclaimed that ‘Less is More’.
Here in Simplistic States, Less is More – Clutter’s a Bore.