Interiors, Architecture, and Minimalism in Our Spaces
As we close out the year, we’re thinking about less — minimalism, that is. As a trend, minimalism is impacting everything from photography to illustration and web design right now, and it’s even changing the way we inhabit our spaces. To learn more, we took a look at how people are de-cluttering their interiors, and we talked to Alessandro Barattelli, a photographer whose work is all about capturing clean, simple, stunning architectural forms.
Minimalism comes home
Recent research suggests that the clutter in your house can raise your stress hormone levels, so it’s no wonder that, in already stressful times, we’re gravitating toward minimalism in our personal lives. When Marie Kondo’s wildly successful book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese of Art of Decluttering and Organizing, hit the scene in 2014, it offered a new way of thinking about our relationship to things. Hold an item in your hands, Marie advised, and if it doesn’t “spark joy,” thank it for its service and send it on its way. The book remains a popular a do-it-yourself guide, and Kondo’s client waiting list is still a mile long — showing that our zeal for simplifying is going strong.
Swedish Death Cleaning (dostadnig in Swedish), which isn’t really as depressing as it sounds, may be the newest trend for clearing clutter and letting go of attachments. The theory goes like this — cleaning your home now means you won’t leave a big mess for your loved ones to manage when you’re gone, and you’ll likely find that the process is a relief while you’re living too. The new book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, is set to hit stores in January, just in time for anyone with a new year’s resolution to simplify their interior spaces.
Capturing minimalist architecture
When it comes to exterior spaces, photographer Alessandro Barattelli’s aesthetic is minimalist to the core. “I am obsessive in my shots,” he explains. “I look for perfection, but even more, cleanliness.”
To find just the right architectural subjects, Alessandro first walks through a city without even picking up his camera, looking for just the right subjects. “The architecture I prefer is definitely modern, with grandiose constructions made of materials you would never think of,” says Alessandro.
But not just any modern building will do. Buildings are like people, Alessandro explains — some of them lend themselves to photographs more than others. Once he scouts a structure that works, it’s all about finding “the best side, the one that is most fascinating, the one that makes you say, ‘wow, it cannot be a photograph.’”
“The light, and above all the color, are two fundamental elements in my shots. If an architectural subject is not full of color, it is not for me,” he explains. The resulting images are not only starkly minimalist — they capture a simplicity that people sometimes mistake for an illusion. “Viewers often say to me, ‘This is such a simple construction. Does it really exist?’”