Desirée De León is a Neuroscience PhD student and artist who shares these gorgeous minimalist designs on her Instagram. León selects a small everyday object and then designs a playful drawing around it. Dubbed “100 Days Of Tiny Things,” the project is a delightful blend of simplicity and whimsy.
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Kyle Chayka hates minimalism, a consumer product like any other, a class signifier, a "slightly intriguing perversion, like drinking at breakfast" for the insincere global elite.
...an outgrowth of a peculiarly American (that is to say, paradoxical and self-defeating) brand of Puritanical asceticism, this new minimalist lifestyle always seems to end in enabling new modes of consumption, a veritable excess of less. It’s not really minimal at all. ...
...it comes with an inherent pressure to conform to its precepts. Whiteness, in a literal sense, is good. Mess, heterogeneity, is bad — the opposite impulse of artistic minimalism. It is anxiety-inducing in a manner indistinguishable from other forms of consumerism, not revolutionary at all. Do I own the right things? Have I jettisoned enough of the wrong ones? In a recent interview with Apartamento magazine set against interior shots of his all-white home in Rockaway, Queens, the tastemaker and director of MoMA PS1 Klaus Biesenbach explained, “I don’t aim to own things.” ... it takes a lot to be minimalist: social capital, a safety net and access to the internet.
It seems a bit confused on the relationships between different things and people calling themselves "minimalist," and the snark verges on how dare you – but yeah, fuck Soylent.
These are great tweets, also:
There are so many bad minimalist things, like these memes pic.twitter.com/BPgK0Ej8Wh— Kyle Chayka (@chaykak) July 26, 2016
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In meme terms, art —> lifestyle: pic.twitter.com/BSmeUk4DLK— Kyle Chayka (@chaykak) July 26, 2016
The Encrypted Page Maker lets you paste in a HTML document, pick a password, and then hosts the resulting page at its own site. Simple public publishing, with the source code available in the page source.
The contents of you page is compressed using LZString.js and optionally encrypted using mjsCrypt.js, and stored in the hash of a loader URL. The page loader reads the contents of the URL hash and decrypts and expands the page, setting the value of body.outerHTML. Scripts will work as they are compiled and executed after the page is loaded. Cookies and localStorage will not work between pages as they are both wiped clean when the page loads.
The encryption is unproven, and may only act as a deterent. This page and the loading pages are served over HTTP without SSL so do not trust it with actual confidential infomation. This is a toy. I hope you can have fun with it. All source code is freely avaliable in the page source.
SpareOne Emergency Phone is a basic cellphone powered by AA batteries. This gives it a relatively short time on a charge, but means that it will have a charge after being stuffed in a drawer or glove box for months.
I came across this during my search for the perfect basic phone, but be warned: it has no display, and therefore no text messaging. It has a glow-in-the-dark keypad, a 10-number phonebook, and an "SOS" button that sends texts to 5 contacts with your location.
The AT&T GoPhone model is 3G and costs $60 at Target stores, or $50 at Amazon. Some users report that AT&T doesn't really understand the gadget; be sure to activate it according to the handset instructions, not AT&T's instructions, which require you to receive a text message.
A 2G GSM model, requiring only a single AA battery, is officially available only in the UK, for some reason. Perhaps because it's a pain to activate on an off-brand carrier and US carriers periodically expire your minutes on SIM-only plans. But it's offered in the US for $30 on Amazon if you fancy your chances.
Something tickles me about the first-aid medical design. Read the rest
Brutalist websites: "In its ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy, Brutalism can be seen as a reaction by a younger generation to the lightness, optimism, and frivolity of todays webdesign."
An evocative (if imperfect) word for the combination of considered minimalism and retro-HTML design that's coming into vogue as a reaction to the overtracked bloat of the modern web. I'll take it! But "brutalism" doesn't seem to account for the nostalgic component that suffuses a lot of the entries, even if the materials match. Brutalism didn't look like something from 20 years ago until it was 20 years old.
After a lifetime of Walkmans and iPods and computer speakers and all that, I thought: why don't I just get a standalone stereo like a normal person? To sit down and listen to music that isn't stereo-fielded inside my own head or competing with error messages on a screen.
But I didn't want to spend any money, and certainly didn't want to obey that familiar, sinister calling to begin researching things. So I got some speakers from the thift store ($5), an old iPhone at the back of a drawer (free), a basic mini-amp I had lying around ($20 for the legendary Lepai will do). Voila! Works fine: the iPhone's in its dock; the headphone-out is connected to RCA stereo inputs on the amp.
The original iPhones are slow! They play songs just fine, though, and the decent music apps will still install over wifi. But I'm really posting this because when I took a photo, it struck me that the tableaux – thrifted vintage gear, an original iphone, a cult cheapo amp, on a metal cabinet against a whitewashed brick wall – represents exactly the sort of minimalism that seems to really annoy people on the internet. So I pulled my MacBook (12-inch with Retina Display) out of my 1950s school satchel (inherited from Great Uncle Etsy) and decided to tell y'all about it.
P.S. the iPhone is currently loaded exclusively with 1970s childrens' library music, an acid house remix of Philip Glass's score for Koyaanisqatsi that no natural-born American has ever heard, and albums by The Lickets. Read the rest
Jesper is offered as "the ultimate minimalist watch," reducing the psychological baggage of personal timekeeping to the simplest possible state by "opting out of telling time altogether."
Jesper’s perfectly-weighted 45mm plated gunmetal body, sapphire crystal glass, and lush genuine leather band create a striking affront to today’s excessive lifestyles. Changeable bands lets you easily switch between camel brown (pictured above), desert sand tan, and charcoal gray to complement any look.
It's real. It's $79. Read the rest
I have one bag of clothes, one backpack with a computer, iPad, and phone. I have zero other possessions.
Today I have no address. At this exact moment I am sitting in a restaurant and there’s no place for me to go to lie down.
By tonight I will find a place to lie down. Will that be my address? Probably not.
Am I minimalist? I don’t know. I don’t care. I don’t like that word. I live the way I like to live no matter what label it has.
At any moment, you are exactly where you want to be, for better or worse.
A lot of people get minimalism confused.This story is from James Altucher's website. He let us run it after we asked nicely.
It’s not necessarily a good way to live. Or a free way to live for many people. It’s just the way I like to live.
I like to be a wanderer. Without knowing where I am going to end up. To explore with no goal. To love without expectation.
For now. Maybe not for later. Maybe not yesterday.
“Does minimalism mean not having a lot of possessions?”
No, not at all. I think minimalism means having as little as you require. That means different things to everyone.
For me, having little means I don’t have to think about things that I own.
My brain is not so big. So now I can think about other things. I can explore other ways of living more easily. Read the rest
Leslie Garret looks at people for whom decluttering has taken over their lives. Read the rest
If my ₹ 5000 Moto E lasts even for 6 months, it would have a much better ROI than my previous phone. Now that I have used both phones for a bit, with my usage patterns, it is simply not worth it to buy an expensive phone. Also, in pure economic terms, money invested is better than money spent on a depreciating asset ☺, so the gap between the two prices widens even more.Read the rest
Avi Solomon: What do you see in your childhood that pointed you onto the path that your life took?
Lloyd Kahn: When I was a kid I had a little workbench with holes in it, and the holes were square or round or triangular. And you had to pick the right little piece of wood block and hammer it in with a little wooden hammer. And so I'd hammer with it, put the round dowel into the round hole, and hammer it through. And then maybe the most formative thing was when I was twelve - I helped my dad build a house. It had a concrete slab floor, and concrete block walls. And my job was shoveling sand and gravel and cement into the concrete mixer for quite a while. We'd go up there and work on weekends. One day we got the walls all finished, and we were putting a roof on the carport, and I got to go up on the roof. They gave me a canvas carpenter's belt, a hammer and nails, and I got to nail down the 1" sheeting. And I still remember that, kneeling on the roof nailing, the smell of wood on a sunny day. And then I worked as a carpenter when I was in college, on the docks. I just always loved doing stuff with my hands. Read the rest
A New Yorker with a $235,000, 450sqft studio apartment in Manhattan paid $70,000 to remodel it with a series of clever, well-thought-through dividers and pull-out furniture that makes very good use of the space, effectively giving him a guest-room as well as a good-sized kitchen and bedroom
1) Total Nada
2) Just Pockets
3) Day Baggers
4) Minimalist Borrowers
Total Nada. In this mode you take your passport, a toothbrush, some cash, a cell phone, the clothes you are wearing, and that's it. It's pretty radical. You have to be in a certain zen state to enjoy this, but like many things, once you jump in it is not hard to do. This mode is great if you are drifting, going with the flow, and not trying to do anything else. If your travel entails producing something, you'll need tools (keyboard, or cameras, or books, or maps, or hand tools), which takes you out of this mode.Read the rest
But a number of folks sail off this way every year. For one example, Jonathan Yevin travelled for a month in Latin America in Total Nada mode. He wrote of his adventures in Budget Travel. (That's him [above] with all his luggage.):
I just completed a month-long, bag-free trip through Central America. I ran the full length with nothing but the clothes I was wearing: cargo pants, maroon T-shirt, and gray fleece tied at the waist. On my person was an American passport, a Visa credit card, about $50, a toothbrush, a tiny Canon digital camera with extra battery, a Ziploc bag of vitamins, and a copy of The Kite Runner, whose chapters I tore off as I read them. Begging for toothpaste, it turns out, is a great way to make new friends.