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Perfection is attained, not when anything more can be added, but when nothing more can be taken away. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
It doesn’t matter where you look, minimalism is everywhere today. At a time when practically anything is technically possible, when ‘anything goes’ is just an empty catchphrase, lightness and trim structures are no longer a promise, but reality. Less is more. Too much is encumbering. To be free of excess means more quality of life.
That goes for weight, too – not just personal weight, but also that of everything surrounding us. Thus the wide range of product designs is being reduced by all that tends to be heavy.
After years of putting on weight, automobile manufacturers have put their products on a diet, presenting new models that weigh less than a ton through the use of aluminum, carbon fiber and fabric-reinforced thermoplastics. Designers are reducing chairs, tables and shelving to the bare minimum with very few parts. Furniture is barely there. It is nothing more than just a filigree wire frame or a transparent, light-flooded object standing in the room. Through extra-light, innovative functional materials, outdoor clothing has become ‘nothing’ of substance – durable, waterproof and breathable – a successful symbiosis of light weight and optimal function. And weight restrictions in air travel have turned us all into ounce-hunters for bags that follow us on quiet, light wheels.
There are things left out today which yesterday seemed indispensable. Designers do not usually call the tune, but assimilate it with ears wide open, composing something new out of it. There is a personal unburdening going on of everything that weighs us down. In every area of life, wherever possible. We compress the entire contents of our bookcases onto our eBook readers, freeing ourselves of paper ballast. Our smartphone is a telephone, PC, MP3 player and camera all at once – one device instead of four.
We make minimalism the point of our entire lifestyle with the aim of getting rid of time wasters. A life plan should no longer be like our favorite handbag – there comes a time when we have collected too much inside. So, we build pre-fab houses because their quick assembly saves time. And when we go to the city, instead of our own car, we take ‘car2go’ or an ultralight bicycle. Searching for a parking place just isn’t worth the hassle.
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