Benefits of Minimalism

There is no one individual who can pride himself or herself of having invented minimalism. In fact, given the history of human beings, minimalism appears throughout history. Take the cave men, for example. They only hunted and gathered what they needed for the present time, and went for some more only after their previous stock was depleted.  Even religious settings have minimalism mentioned in their literature. In Christianity, Jesus tells his disciples to take only the clothes on their body when they went to evangelize. The Buddhist monks do not believe in having material wealth such as cars, houses or bank accounts full of money. Minimalism has overtime transformed into many different things other than lifestyle. There is minimalist art, music and even fashion. However, the common aspect of all sorts of minimalism is the mantra that ‘more is less.’ Minimalism has several benefits to anyone that incorporates it into their life. Some of these benefits include the following:  1. Cleanliness and Order  The first rule of minimalism is to have as little as possible. Quality always triumphs over quantity. Therefore, clutter has to be non-existent in a minimalist’s life. Lack of clutter in turn results in cleanliness and order in one’s life. Take for example the kitchen. Minimalism suggests that you only need one cup, spoon and plate for each person. If you live alone, you will only have three piece of cutlery and there is no way to have a messy kitchen with only three…

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The Beginnings of Minimalism

The art and design movement known as minimalism began in New York after World War II. At this time, many artists began to turn away from modern work that they considered overly academic, and therefor stale. Minimalism began as a way for younger artists to create pieces that were “cool” rather than intense or dramatic. These new artists began using industrial materials rather than traditional artistic media.  This movement began the triumphant and most ubiquitous movement present by the 1970s, in both the United States and Europe. This triumph was thanks, in part, to curators, publications, and dealers who nearly immediately fell in love with the movement. Minimalism is now more than just an art movement. For many, it is a way of life. Before this could happen, however, many artists had to lay the stepping stones. Pre-Minimalism Inspiration Minimalism has deep roots in early Modernist techniques. New York City artists of the mid 1950s, including Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Robert Morris, were painting much like other artists of the time, in the Abstract Expressionist style, but all began to fade away from it in favor of a direction inspired by recent European art. Art from the Dutch De Stijl movement, the Russian Constructivist movement, and the German Bauhaus movement were beginning to show up in New York City museums. All of these movements provided an inspiration for those beginning to fade away from Abstract Expressionism. Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi was an early adopter of Minimalist…

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Time After Time: The Modern Evolution of Watches

The first watches were not very similar to the wristwatches we know and love today. They were closer to pocket watches, and served better as decoration than as keepers of time. The lever escapement of the 1800s brought thinner pocket watches that could more accurately keep time than their predecessors. The use of jewel bearings, in addition to the changes in the escapements, meant that pocket watches could be carried by just about anybody, in any situation. As with any other invention, this meant that mass production would be right around the corner. Mass Production Until a product can be effectively mass produced, it is typically available only to the wealthy. This was especially true of the watch. It was not until 1851, when Aaron Lufkin Dennison started a factory in Massachusetts that could use interchangeable parts in watchmaking, that watches would become available to the masses. By 1861, his factory was successfully operating as the Waltham Watch Company.  Improvements to watch accuracy and mass production received a further boost from the necessity for accuracy on railroads. As a result, watches that used temperature compensated balance wheels and jewel bearings became used nearly universally. The necessity for accuracy led to the first international watch precision contest in 1876. As a result of this increased emphasis on accuracy, rather than decoration, watches were running extremely accurately, losing only a few seconds per day, at most. It was also at this time that the Waterbury Clock Company of Connecticut…

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No Frills, No Problem: Dressing Like a Minimalist

Minimalist fashion represents different things to different people, but in general it can be described as simple and easy, nearly effortless. For many people, a minimalist wardrobe means a few staple pieces that can be mixed and matched with ease. A minimalist wardrobe can also be filled with a great many number of pieces that have a minimalist aesthetic. Here are a few tips to help you dress with the easy style of the minimalist movement. Understanding the Approach The approach to minimal fashion is less about aesthetic and more about attitude. You should create your wardrobe intentionally. It is not necessary to completely reduce the number of items you have. Instead, you should be aiming to work your wardrobe around your lifestyle. On average, a person only wears about 20 percent of their entire wardrobe. The minimalist approach attempts to change this, aiming to fill your wardrobe with only things that you will wear.  The Paradox of Choice Many people look into their wardrobe and exclaim “I have nothing to wear!” This is not the case, typically. Usually this despair is caused by a phenomenon known as the paradox of choice. When you have far too many things to choose from, your brain shuts down and has a hard time making a decision. What’s worse is that, the more you have to choose from, the less satisfied you will be with your eventual choice. When you fill your closet with only those items that you absolutely…

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Time and Time Again: An Early History of Watches

Unlike most other inventions in human history, watches have not seen much in the way of technological advancement. Sure, if you include smartwatches in the history of watches, that would be patently untrue, but when it comes to pure timepieces, the watch has remained essentially the same. Most changes to watch technology have been purely aesthetic, even if you go back as far as the first watches of 16th century Europe. The Clock Watch The first watches originated in Nuremberg, Germany, and were a form of transitional technology: not quite watch-sized, these clock watches were frequently worn on a chain around someone’s neck, or pinned to their clothing. They were heavy, ornamental, and cylindrical in shape. The face had only an hour hand, and was not covered with glass. To protect the singular watch hand, a brass, domed cover was typically affixed, and engraved in such a way that the user would not need to open it to read the time. These watches needed to be wound up twice a day, and would later take on a more orb shaped construction. The orb shaped clock watches were called Nuremberg eggs. The space requirements for all of the gears responsible for their operation allowed for unusually shaped clock watches to trend. Some watches took the shapes of skulls, animals, fruit, or books.  Strangely enough, these clock watches were not exactly meant to be functional. They were inaccurate, often off by up to several hours a day. They were…

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