The pursuit of good design
Minimalism does have some negative connotations as it is often employed without vision or context. It's a useful beginning, a tabula rasa for experimenting with design. Design as in creating spaces and populating them with objects. It's a room, a desk, any spot in a residence where everything comes together perfectly and emanates a kind of energy. The same sensation you got on a particular day as a youth running somewhere and feeling almost ethereal, liberated, unconstrained by the universe.
Many years ago I visited a hotel and was transformed by the experience. The walls radiated energy, the spaces had a unique sense of vitality, they weren't simply static. I wanted to recapture that experience in my home and began reading, collecting books on architecture, and developing a sense of what constituted good design. A long process, facilitated by someone in the profession who has guided me over the years. Influences are Wabi-Sabi, Japanese architecture, Japandi, Scandinavian design, Bauhaus, and a Swiss architect who introduced me to creative regionalism. I instinctively was aware of what I enjoyed but couldn't put a name to it, now I have labels.
A month ago I began to slowly redesign my residence (very modest) from the ground up, replacing most of the furniture, and carefully weighing every element that went into it. This meant looking at hundreds if not thousands of designs (Archiproducts is a good site) for everything that goes into a house, even the most mundane elements. Curtains, a shower rod, a towel rack, garlic press, shoehorn, etc., etc. Each one evaluated with certain objectives:
- Clean Lines
- Highly functional
- No ornamentation
- Understated elegance
- Complimentary to the environment around it
- Simple materials
- Employing asymmetry (though not dispensing altogether with symmetry)
Obviously, with a limited budget, there is only so much that can be done and I can't afford all the changes. There is a lamp I really like, it costs $6,000.00. Pipe dream and it needn't be that costly, there are plenty of well-executed designs out there that are very inexpensive. It's the concept behind stores like Muji and Uniqlo. When possible it became a DIY project. Much work involved sourcing products, out of a thousand there might only be one that captures my interest.
The subject fascinates me. I'll post photos soon, my first will be of a towel bar.