Aesthetics Exploration: A Look into Minimalism – Sophie Berry

A Minimal Aesthetic:

Minimalism art took hold in New York in the 1960s starting with art and music with Artists like Frank Stellastarted, Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt who made famous minimalist works. In a reaction to the abstract Pop art or Action painting (abstract free expression paintings) that some artists didn’t think was very profound. Some artists gravitated towards the minimalist style because they felt that action painting “was too personal and insubstantial” so instead they “adopted the point of view that a work of art should not refer to anything other than itself.” (Britannica Minimalism Art Movement) (Side note: those artist mentioned above might have been inspired by Kasimier Malevich 1913 painting of a black square on white ground)

Nowadays, minimalism is found in decor, home styling, or even in lifestyle habits.  For home design this might mean choosing monochromatic color choices in walls or furniture. Keeping rooms simple and cohesive but still functional (so it doesn’t mean cutting everything out so it is bare bones and empty, but the things that are there need to have value.) A similar idea is applied to a minimalist lifestyle keeping the things that have meaning, value, and or purpose. An example I found was from Matt D’Avella’s video explaining how he had paired down his wardrobe to be only duplicates of shirts or pants that he liked and wore which matched well with each other to form practical outfits. 




The ideal minimalist aesthetic I am interested in incorporating into my design could be described as clean, refined, and functional. I hope that by doing this it will make my project look visually interesting and not over complicate the overall purpose. Also I think if I keep to a simple and practical aesthetic it will allow me to focus more on the application and usefulness of the idea. While not needing to have a physical use I would like to try and incorporate a practical use because it will cause the viewer to contemplate more being able to picture oneself possibly using the design.

Thinking and doing a bit of research on minimalism has given me a few ideas on a project like upcycling furniture, clothes, some simple organizer to keep clutter off of my desk, or even some type of interactive upcycled art.


Citations: Artlex. (n.d.). The 20 most famous minimalist artists throughout art History. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

Gersh-Nesic, B. (2019, July 8). Abstract Expressionism: Art History 101 Basics. ThoughtCo. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

Goncharenok, M. (2018, October 11). White Couch on Wooden Floor. Pexels.

Grabowska, K. (2020, April 21). Stack of blue jeans arranged by color. Pexels.

Matt D’Avella. (n.d.). Matt D’Avella.

Matt D’Avella. (2018, October 15). A day in the life of a minimalist [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

Myers, S. M., & Hall, D. H. (2019, May 17). Everything you need to know about minimalist design. ELLE Decor. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

Phan, H. (2019, August 21). Rectangular White and Black Wooden Display Rack Beside Green Snake Plant. Pexels. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

Project Nord, & Slater, J. (2019, July 5). All you’ve ever wanted to know about minimalism — PROJECT NORD JOURNAL. PROJECT NORD JOURNAL. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2023, December 14). Minimalism | Origins, Characteristics & Influences. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

Wainwright, L. S., Blumberg, N., Kuiper, K., & Zelazko, A. (2023, May 30). Donald Judd | Biography, Art, Furniture, Architecture, Minimalism, Marfa, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from


Post 1 Prompt: identify an aesthetic, include at least 6 images and/or videos illustrating it, and discuss the context a bit – When was it created? Who were the big players? What influenced it? What has it influenced since then? Be sure to provide citations for all your sources. Be sure to categorize your post as ‘Post 1 – 2024 Aesthetics Explorations’. (about 500 words in length)

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3 Comments. Leave new

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  • Hi Sophie, first I want to say that I enjoyed reading your post on minimalism. I found the intro. history of the movement to be very interesting and I liked the line: “art should not refer to anything other than itself.” That being said I don’t know if I can personally get behind Kasimier Malevich’s black square painting (haha). I also liked your connection from minimalist art to the minimalist lifestyle. Moving forward, when keeping minimalism in mind, how do you plan to create a minimalist piece that doesn’t seem “too simple”? Will you plan for this specifically or let the design process happen organically and take a step back after the fact?

    • I agree for the Black square, but maybe more so now that there are white paintings on canvas that are worth millions! I’m not sure I see the value?

      As for a minimalistic design I’m not too sure on the final design idea but I would ideally like to make something that has a defined purpose like furniture or some type of clothing. I think by picking an idea that already has that physical function built in and then let the design process happen organically it will hopefully make the project not too simple.
      I will focus on making the feature well designed like if it some type of clothing and the pockets were the feature then I would try and design that to be functional, user friendly and clean looking.


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