You may have seen on Netflix the documentary entitled Minimalism. Tired of consumption Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, otherwise known as The Minimalists created the documentary. They have acquired 200k followers on instagram, where they share the idea of making room for more by spending less. Through clearing through the clutter in their lives, they are able to focus on creating richer experiences, more passion, more contribution and fundamentally, more contentment.
Their sentiment behind their minimalist ethos is similar those of Marie Kondō’s, author of ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ and Francine Jay, author of The Joy of Less’.
Collectively, they are signalling a wave of consumers who are embracing a simple living movement. As consequence, we have witnessed the rise of minimalist living with the proliferation of Shepherd Huts.
Inspired by Thomas Hardy, the UK middle- classes are building shepherd huts as tiny hideaways in their gardens. These traditional wheeled shepherd huts measure 12 by 6 feet (to fit through farm gates), and are used as studies, playhouses, spare bedrooms, and even saunas.
Interestingly, Muji launched minimalist houses this autumn, in line with the brand’s new concept which invites consumers a new life. Muji’s tiny huts (under 10 square metres) can be built anywhere: in the mountains, by the sea or simply in a garden, providing a countryside retreat for urbanites that are less hassle than a trip, and less commitment than a holiday house.
The hut’s design takes inspiration from both Japanese shipbuilding, and traditional Japanese homes, to protect them from the elements. A large sliding door ensures the hut is full of natural light, and the blackened timber frame and large windows allow the structures to blend easily into the environment. Interestingly, The Barbican’s The Japanese House exhibit focused on small scale interior design advice and living earlier this year, promoting the cultural relevancy of minimal design.
People are rejecting the notion of acquiring material possessions but rather they are investing their time, money and energy in experiences. Brands have an opportunity to court this consumer desire for simple living and retreat back into the bare necessities, so to speak.