Hyperallergic

Our Obsession With Less and Its Co-option by Silicon Valley

Episode Summary

Kyle Chayka’s new book, The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism, probes the corporate world’s love of minimalist design and what it might mean.

Episode Notes

In this episode for Sunday Edition, we welcome Kyle Chayka to examine Silicon Valley’s taste for minimalist design. Is this just the latest development for a style that has a long history but only emerged into pop culture during the 1960s and ‘70s when a contemporary art movement emerged to propel the taste for less into a global phenomenon?

Chayka's book, The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism (Bloomsbury, 2020), is a highly readable book that examines the historical precedents of minimalist design, its incarnation as contemporary art, and how it was co-opted by architecture, design, and fashion companies to represent a new, generic sense of luxury.

The music for this episode is Darkstar’s “Timeaway,” which is taken from the new album News From Nowhere, courtesy of Warp Records (warp.net/artists/darkstar).

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