We love “more.” More assets, more money, more friends and more likes are all good because they bring us happiness. But during crucial societal turbulence in history, the notion of “less is more” kept emerging as if it was a canary in a coal mine. Around WWI and II as a modern design philosophy. As transcendental Japanese aesthetics when the society was on a drastic transformation from the Middle Ages to modern era. And if you haven’t noticed, it’s trending today, not just in the world of design, but also as a lifestyle choice, such as minimalist, decluttering or tiny house movements.
But what does “less is more” really mean? Is it telling us that “more” somehow became “less,” or that there is something wrong with our conventional wisdom that “more should always be more?” Is that what’s happening today? Is it the reason why we are feeling uncertain, frustrated and divided, instead of feeling jubilant living in the most affluent world in history?
If you are anxious to know where we are heading, and want to get good clues in order to lead a fulfilling, happy life in this rapidly changing world saturated with materials and opportunities, and also with intense emotions and challenges, it’s time to revisit “less is more.” It’s been there before, witnessing what we are going through today. Act as if we were in 1928, and re-discover the true potential of “less is more.”