Have you ever noticed your modern furniture? Why it looks so 'cleaner' and 'squary' than your grandma's old wardrobe? What makes today's web design so different than older ones? Notice modern buildings, don't they look like a collection of blocks? It's called minimalism, the trendsetter in every form of visual design and Art. Gone are the days of semi-opulence that called for brocade patterns, those oldie Hollywood style waves and flowery design. It's a trend of finding symmetry than beauty.

The inspiration

A popular notion says that minimalism emerged in New York in the 1960's by artists who wanted to portray unconventional sculptures and eschew abstract design patterns.

Their creations were sleek, geometric and they seemed much like a symmetrical object than fine art pieces. The group rejected the popular dogma and academic approach to painting and sculptures, making these art forms more 'Democratic' in nature. This new rebellious stride quickly got adopted in Architecture and print designs.

Modern Minimalism GUI (Graphical User Interface) - Nothing has influenced modern web UI as much as minimalism. Whether its Windows 8's color blocks or iOS 8's skeuomorphism, today every piece of GUI is losing its abstract designs and being replaced by flat, neutral colored symmetrical shapes. One page websites growing more than ever simply indicating that minimalism has not only influenced design elements but the content too.

Music - Minimalism was the single most paradigm shift in music during the last century. American composers like LaMonte Young, Philip Glass and Steve Reich brought a real change with their 'reductionist approach' in music with bustling beats on regular intervals. Minimalism could be heard in almost all songs of One Direction.

Steady pulse, gradual transformation and reiteration of phrases are some of the notable features of their songs.

Architecture - In minimalist architecture, architect strips down the design to the barest features, but ensures the functionality of the design. Our own St. Edward School's pavilion in Oxford might be the best example of town's minimalist architecture.

Day care center for Benetton in Treviso (Italy) is also a good example of minimalist approach to architecture.

Minimalism in Fashion - In the past few years, the trend of minimalist aesthetics has grown phenomenally. The latest works of celebrity designers phoebe Philo and RAF Simon have set a minimalist fashion trend. Their designs have shades of austerity and seem more 'democratic/accessible' than ever. It's a real turnaround in such niche segment like fashion where archaic and opulent designs gain more popularity. The trend also disapproves the clothing based on gender and promotes anti-figurative apparels.

Lately, some people are also looking at minimalism as a way of life! These people wish to live life lucratively by reducing their needs and spending only on things needed to live and work.