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I've seen the topic of minimalism come up several times in cyberpunk circles, but I'm not sure I see anything particularly cyberpunk about it. I see it more as an aesthetic than a lifestyle and an expensive and pretentious one at that. Those that actually live "minimally" would probably identify more as nomads, but I could be wrong. I'm not very materialistic, but I do like my stuff and am not ashamed to say so. Lain's bedroom was anything but minimalistic towards the end.


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>I see it more as an aesthetic than a lifestyle and an expensive and pretentious one at that.
When you have the time to make extensive spreadsheets documenting what it is you plan to keep or give away, I think it's safe to say you aren't exactly struggling in life. I must say that I enjoy the a e s t h e t i c of minimalism, but despite the name it seems like a culture of waste. I don't think these people are giving their precious things they artificially select to part with to charity let alone their time or money.


A lot of vocal minimalist are just conscious brand whores who still are obsessed with material items. I'm not though and don't care how rough my material items look. I'm technically minimalist but I don't want to associate myself to today's standard of what people think of as minimalism. It became as toxic as veganism.



I like to use the term "simple living" to describe my lifestyle rather than "minimalism". As you say, the latter has developed a connotation of form-over-function fashion statements.


Not only that but it also morphed into this strange holier-than-thou thing as well. That just rubs me the wrong way so I don't associate myself with them.


My idea of minimalism would be not being bothered by a soykafon of purely decorative items without any useful purpose. And so I only have in my flat basic useful furnitures around big & empty walls and floors on most places.
But I've not been there long, and don't see this idea opposed to the hoarding of lots of potentially useful objects (tools, old electronics, raw materials, etc.)


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It is funny how you are all distancing yourselves from the idea of minimalism as if to "minimalize" your association with it.


I really like Japanese minimalism in art, architecture, design, and interior decoration, which is more often informed by an exquisite sense of negative space.


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Minimalism was largley inspired by japanese aesthetics:

The goal is efficiency through elegance. Everything must serve a purpose and look good while doing it.

I am a bit confused about minimalism being expensive. A core point of minimalism is Needs versus Wants.

Eliminating Wants is actually a good way of saving money, for it is Wants that you normally spend the most on.


Minimalism is influenced by Apple and their designs were influenced by Japanese aesthetics. The design language of Apple products is ubiquitous now. A business with a minimalist interior and exterior design uses the style to attract Apple users. The business can afford to charge more because the business is associating their brand with the most profitable brand and attracting their customers.


On the other hand, simple design allows for more expense to be allocated to higher-quality, more expensive materials.


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In terms of technology and graphic design I am utterly sick of minimalism. It has gotten to the point where it is not only distasteful, it is compromising functionality. For example: pic related, be live it of not, is a laptop.

Minimalist aesthetics and language are popular because they are easy to digest. This kind of mental laziness should end. I propose we make it socially unacceptable to use sans serif fonts.


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but funnily enough even though I know I'd live to regret it I still want to buy one of those damn things. I like the idea of a portable that can be slipped into a folder with some papers. It'll never be a laptop, but sometimes when slipping in and out of offices/boardrooms or bouncing between flights/hotels in CorporateNightmareWorld (a place I sometimes have to occupy) something like that would be more useful than a tablet. So I settled for a GPD Pocket instead at least I think I'll actually use that.

I don't mind minimalism, if anything I like the concept behind a tool or creation that's so deliberate in its purpose that everything else can be removed. Almost the UNIX philosophy; one tool to do one job and do it well.

I get annoyed though when it looks like it's all design and no purpose which is where everything seems to be getting unstuck at the moment - because it's become trendy and marketing idjets with no understanding of the humans using the product have latched onto it to make $$$.


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I think you're overemphasizing how much influence japanese architecture really had on minimialism as an art movement. The phrase "Less is more more" was coined by one of the pioneers of modernist architecture, Mies van der Rohe. When it comes to modernism and its influence in art, most people are right in looking to De Stijl and the Bauhaus, where we saw architects like Mies van der Rohe himself and more famously, Frank Lloyd Wright, attempt to give De Stijl paintings three-dimensional form. Mies' Barcelona Pavilion is generally seen as the go-to for what really laid the foundations for minimalism to emerge as a divergence from what is known today as the internationalist style, splitting from the "New Brutalism" that had emerged out of respect for Le Corbusier's designs from the same time period.
>I am a bit confused about minimalism being expensive.
It's expensive because a key tenet in the "minimalist" strand of modernist architecture, as infamously exemplified by Mies van der Rohe's 1951 Farnsworth House, is the lack of A/C. These men were fascinated with creating spaces that emphasized a harmonious relationship with nature. The spaces were designed to be as efficient as possible in terms of air flow, when in reality they merely became overpriced greenhouses in the summer, and icy refrigerators in the winter. This was placed near Chicago, too so you can only imagine the tenant's dismay upon making that realization.


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Minimalism is bourgeois as fuck; its proponents take inspiration from men who practically deified the suburban lifestyle with little regard for how their designs might actually affect the populace once implemented on a large scale. You see, >>95 (OP), much of cyberpunk takes influence from the brutalist strand of modernist architecture of which became popular alongside minimalism but died out more quickly. Le Corbusier was a lowkey syndicalist, so his design philosophy was all about providing sustainable living for the working class. The "sustainable" part was often overlooked in favor of making "streets in the sky" and "towers in the park" which is why every low-income high-rise residential project in America especially have since been torn down. Why look at looming structures that testify to your nation's perpetual socioeconomic inequality when you can obscure it among the boondocks? Suburban blight is minimalism taken to its logical conclusion, tho; technomads traversing broadacre city not out of a stoic disregard for materialist consumption, but rather because they simply have no other choice. It's not particularly cyberpunk, but certainly hits closer to home.


Get the fuck outta here with that elitist crap. Sans serifs are easier to read on the web, and in product design it makes a more bold statement.


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An art movement is ambiguous. What I mean by that is that what is and isn't considered part of the movement in question is subjective and can be debated. Why are you so sure that the artists you mention didn't take influence from Zen Buddhism? How do you know they didn't take influence from Japan? Ukiyo-e prints had been internationally distributed for more than century before the examples you gave. Not only that, but your examples conveniently followed WW2 and the rebuilding of Japan by MacArthur.

Minimalism is different things to different people. I was simply showing that it was a major theme in Zen Buddhism, and thus shaped the design of virtually every item produced by the isolationist population that followed it. Whether it influenced an art movement throughout the mid-20th century is of course debatable, but I would say modern day minimalism (a much more accurate description of what is being discussed here) has a wide range of influences as it resides in an era of globalization and access to an infinite database of information.


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>What I mean by that is that what is and isn't considered part of the movement in question is subjective and can be debated.
The works I've cited thus far are historically revered for laying the foundations with which the aforementioned art movement was built upon.. ? How on earth is that up for debate?
>Why are you so sure that the artists you mention didn't take influence from Zen Buddhism?
I didn't say that, I just think you're overemphasizing it. Frank Lloyd Wright in particular was a huge weeb; the dude collected and sold Ukiyo-e prints like a mad man–even snagging a couple contracts, too. He lived and worked in Japan both during and after the first world war, decades before his magnum opus, Fallingwater and even longer before minimalism emerged as a distinct movement. But to what extent this influenced his own designs has really remained a mystery, as elements in what remains of his work in Japan are very reminiscent of his earlier designs as part of the Prairie School, which bares closer semblance to his later De Stijl influences.
>Not only that, but your examples conveniently followed WW2 and the rebuilding of Japan by MacArthur.
Yes, the internationalist style is the very style of modernist architecture that grew out of the need to rebuild a world once at war. It was interdisciplinary out of necessity, not just respite. I can only really say this from the annals of styles found throughout architectural history, but the fact that Metabolism, Japan's only native architectural style to gain any sort of global recognition having amounted to little more than a (schway af) capsule tower, pardon me for sounding bitter. My point was that the architects that helped develop the minimalism that we all know today were consciously thinking of ways to design spaces emphasizing a harmonious relationship with nature–without any direct influence from buddhism. I think that the conflation that minimalism = japanese aesthetics is an incredibly superficial way of understanding it–so much to the point that it almost delves neck-deep into intellectual dishonesty.
>..has a wide range of influences as it resides in an era of globalization
And of course post-70s minimalism was influenced by globalization, it wasn't alone in that endeavor either. All of the architectural styles I've mentioned here have continually been paraded as "minimalist" in cyberpunk circles when in reality I think what distinctions they DO have are worth mentioning for the sake of research and discussion.


That being said, the architectural school of Functional Minimalism was literal cancer and actually caused a lot of suicides because, surprise, people get really depressed living in featureless concrete boxes, which was a far cry from Le Corbusier's elegant "Machines for living". Hell, even neo-brutalism, which makes everything look like like a stormwater drain, has more swag than Functional Minimalism and their prison blocks. At least Neo-Brutalist architecture has the occasional 45 degree angle, and some pebble facing, functional minimalism is all 90 degree angles, and bleak concrete with fucking air conditioning stains, I've seen prisons and factories with more a e s t h e t i c.

IIRC, the spate of suicides in those Legoland morgues was the inspiration for Domu: A Child's Dream, by Katsuhiro Otomo, before he did Akira. I recommend it, anyone who dug Lain would grok Domu.


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You don't have to force yourself to live in discomfort to be "minimalist"

It's more about letting go of the things that are unnecessary, than actively trying to remove things from your life.


>expensive and pretentious
That it is. I prefer function over beauty, and many minimalist setups aren't very functional.
Why not let go of life, then? Life is unnecessary. There are no needs in the universe, only wants.


>an expensive and pretentious one at that.
You've got it completely wrong. You are probably thinking of wordpress template tier minimalism, which behind the scenes is a soykafload of javascript. That is obviously not minimalism. Anything that is pretentious or expensive cannot be minimalism.


I think that it's useful to make a distinction between satisfaction of different needs. For instance, in order to live I need constant access to food, water, shelter, and a community. Generally, when people are talking about "needs," they refer to these conditionals.

I agree, but many use "minimalism" to represent something else - generally an aesthetic of emptiness. Except emptiness, and empty space isn't necessarily minimal.


With anything you get glitterboys and their version of things, Here's mine
Just have what you need or adds something to your life
Throw away soykaf you don't need or haven't touched or thought of in a while
A set number of plates, cups cutlery etc
I do like a minimal color palette


my gf is really into "konmari" which is a Japanese method of decluttering/organizing. basically involves folding stuff and getting rid of / donating nearly everything non-essential. it's apparently pretty trendy. she's cleared out most of our closet, and overall created a lot more space in our apartment, so i find it to be a beneficial philosophy. i know very little about it, though i got her the book written by the creator of konmari.

minimalism as i see it involves getting rid of non-essential things as a everyday philosophy, rather than pursuing a certain superficial "minimalist aesthetic" through purchasing/acquiring.

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