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  • Writer's pictureJuliana Loomer

Why Minimalism Sucks and Folk Arts Will Save Us.

I live in Scandinavia. All corporate and modern public spaces are plagued by minimalism. It is clean. It is calm. It is boring. And if I am honest, it is soulless. Why in the world do people want to live like this? People don't, but non-human entities like corporations do.

Minimalist spaces feel cold and impersonal. They lack color, texture, and generally feel devoid of warmth. They are not welcoming and I feel like this has a huge affect on the people who inhabit these spaces.

Minimalism emphasises uniformity and restraint which is the exact opposite of personal expression. This neglects the rich variety of global design traditions and contributes to a loss of cultural identity and heritage. If you would want to influence a public to keep in line, and not stand out, then this is your style to exploit.

Minimalism instills pressure to keep spaces empty and tidy. Nothing wrong with this, but what makes spaces unique and delight the soul is the personal touch. People do travel to Norway to see the cold aesthetic. But more people travel to places like Italy, Spain or Portugal to see all the public arts that enrich the soul and come away enchanted.

Yet Scandinavia has a history of folk art and decoration, a hand embellished style which is beloved by all and totally unencouraged in our modern age. It makes no sense unless you want the complete opposite of everything folk art stand for.

Folk art is steeped in tradition and folklore. Each piece is a narrative, a fragment of a larger story that connects us to our roots. In contrast to the often sterile and impersonal feel of minimalist design, folk art infuses spaces with character and history. It’s a reminder of our shared human heritage, celebrating the unique customs and traditions of different cultures. 

One of the most striking differences between folk art and minimalism is the use of color and pattern. This burst of color and complexity can invigorate a space, creating a lively and dynamic environment that stimulates the senses. Each piece of folk art is unique, carrying the fingerprint of its creator and offering a sense of authenticity and connection that is increasingly rare in today’s fast-paced, digital world.

This is something really important to consider when designing your spaces. There are plenty of places in our modern world that have no character, no charm and no human value except for the utility. Is this really how we want to live? 

We were talking about this at the pub this weekend, that Norway is infused with a feeling that people should not try to be anything special. People should just keep the balance in society and not stick their heads up too high or they will embarrass the others who have no ambition. Norway will disappear into obscurity if this tradition is to continue. Remove the joy of invention and expression, and people tend to look to leaders to show them how to express joy and invention. Do we want politicians to tell us how to express ourselves?

Human potential is being kept in a cryogenic freeze by being housed in minimalist spaces. Add the human touch back into your world and see how your mood is affected! Add hand-made things into your spaces and see how your love for humanity increases. Folk arts are one of the keys to us all getting our souls back from the corporations who do not have our best interests nor the joy of our souls at the heart of their agendas.

- Juliana

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