While we’re not exactly die-hard minimalists here at West + Vittori, the concept appeals to us in an era when quality, buying local, authenticity and eco-friendly are becoming increasingly important.
More powerful than a passing interior trend, minimalism is a concept that’s been around for centuries. It is linked to pure, simple and intentional design and has in recent times captured the fashion, interiors, food, technology and design industries.
Minimalism was first recognised as a movement in the late 1950s amongst visual arts and music industries. As The Tate Gallery puts it, ‘Minimalism emerged when artists began to turn away from the gestural art of the previous generation’. New York City saw the recognition of visual art and music ‘characterised by extreme simplicity of form and a literal, objective approach.’
Here’s a look at what we’ve learnt, and how you can apply the concept to your workplace:
Back to Basics
In a world of visual madness; constant distractions, overwhelming media touchpoints/ads, and the hugely diverse and opinionated community we live in – there’s a call for calm.
Simple, clean lines.
Perfectly organised workspaces.
It’s a well known fact that, whilst colourful environments can be visually stimulating, an element of zen and lack of distraction is beneficial to the focus and mental health of your staff.
But minimalism goes further than that…it is also the process of identifying the essential elements in your life, and eliminating all others.
Less is more
Eliminating distractions or in the workplace is a ongoing process. Whether it be going paperless, promoting agile working (so no personal clutter buildup), or simply restraining your colour scheme – each step will get you closer to a minimalist space. We can surprisingly learn from technology in promoting a minimalist lifestyle – never has so much been available on one device. Your fitness tracker, weather reports, latest magazine and train ticket are only an app away….
Whilst technology can be distraction in itself, we can apply it’s advance to the workplace. What can you eliminate, combine or simplify in your office? Is there a process that has become overcomplicated in the face of a simple alternative? A filing cabinet still standing in the corner? All it requires is a distanced view at the situation, and staff with thank you for the results.
‘Pale and uninteresting?’
Minimalist interiors are all white and boring, right? Wrong.
The beauty of minimalism is its fluidity – you can interpret the concept how you will. A stereotypical interior would indeed be white, but as long as the design is carefully considered, clutter cleared, and a sense of calm created, any style can be made minimalist.
A tasteful luxury boardroom (above) is far from white and boring, yet still uses the principles of clean lines, boldness, and simplicity in it’s execution.
Authenticity is a word we’re hearing a lot at the minute and minimalism helps promote the feel-good factor in an office. As there’s fewer furniture pieces forming a scheme, each one requires more consideration. An original designer piece can be invested in, you can support locals or artisans by sourcing artwork or rugs, you can make decisions on only the most eco-friendly, sustainable products.
As a result of minimalism, your workplace can become more meaningful and reflect the impact the company wants to have on local community and environment.
Space is somewhat of a luxury in the modern workplace, every square metre of is expected to have a purpose and prove it’s worth. Minimalism, of course, turns the concept on it’s head and challenges you to create as much space as possible. Not only does it look sophisticated and well-designed to have empty spaces, it also is extremely practical for multi-tasking workplaces.
A large modular sofa, stackable chairs or transportable focus pods – the space allows for completely flexible working.
Is minimalism the way to go?
We’re torn between our love for eclectic environments that express a client’s personality to a T…and our love for The Art of Minimalism. While minimalist principles are certainly called for in the modern environment, we like to think you can apply these across any workplace style. The below historic conversion perfectly showcases this.
Glass walls and a simplified palette create a modern contrast to the building shell – inspiring!
By making more conscious decisions, refining, and making way for empty space – we believe any interior will benefit. Not only improving focus and staff wellbeing, it adds a sophistication and completeness to a design that is hard to rival.
Looking for a minimalist workplace? Drop us a line on our contact page, and we’ll be right back in touch.
Image credits: source