If something takes a physical form, it must fill a need. These needs can be emotional needs or the needs of day-to-day life. I need a broom to sweep my apartment, but I also need that painting by my friend Pete on my wall because it reminds me of my friends in Chicago and also what it was like when I was first setting up my design practice. When we choose to have physical objects in our life, we need to make sure the need is real.
Graphic designer, Frank Chimero has a great take on minimalism, or, as he sees it, ‘just-right-ism’.
Most perceptively, he writes (as we often do at New Escapologist) that the real end of minimalism (or just-right-ism) is freedom:
Fundamentally, I think the satisfactory outcome for all of this is freedom, meaning the ability to say both yes and no. I think often times we cast freedom as merely the ability to say yes to the things we want, but let’s face it: it’s usually easy to exercise that freedom if you’re a lucky citizen of a modernized country. We’re a culture prone to indulgence, and usually the times we deny ourselves the freedom of doing or having the things or experiences we want are the instances that courage is required to commit. These would be things like quitting your job and starting your own business, or booking a 3 week romp in southeast Asia. That courage is something that Appropriatism, or any other mode of thinking, can’t give you. One just needs to summon it in themselves.
What I mean by freedom is the ability to say no. I don’t consider this a negative way of thinking, but rather a very positive way to have permission to opt out of the things we don’t want to do. I feel we need to acknowledge the value of the freedom derived from simplifying and eliminating the useless things in our life. This means having an understanding of what’s important.
The whole article is here and is well worth a read.
Thanks, Neil, for the link.