"DEATH TO MINIMALISM"
by Nathan J. Robinson in Current Affairs
This article proposes "Minimalism is the aesthetic language of gentrification." I like the overall points the article is making—that clutter has character, and that minimalism everywhere would be dull, and that there's an increasing trend toward minimalism and sameness, which isn't good.
But, at the risk of revealing that I have the soul of a gentrifier, I have such different reactions to some of the rooms and buildings that the article is calling out as examples of deadly minimalism. Take this before-and-after photo of an Oakland Victorian,
originally from a tweet by SF Gate, which likes the new version better. Robinson likes the old version better. I agree that the old version has more personality, and I'm sad that they tore it down. The new version, though, doesn't look like a corpse to me, but like a canvas ready to be personalized.
Robinson contrasts some "boring-ass" windows on the side of a gray building with the inside of the Nasir-ol-molk ("Pink") Mosque
. Leaving aside that these are hardly similar things, I don't think the gray windows are boring-ass. They come in several different shapes and are positioned in different configurations, and some of them have green frames. Compared to what's on the outside of most skyscrapers it's quite varied. I would love to spend hours looking at the mosque and its windows, but I wouldn't want to live there. I would get overwhelmed.
Then we are presented with four bathrooms. (Three of the images are links.) The author complains that one of them is all white and there's no door on the walk-in shower. I agree that the shower would be better with a door. He likes the other three bathrooms better because they have flowers and clawfoot tubs and "Who doesn't like flowers?" I see them like this: 1 accessible bathroom, which has a wall that could be painted if you felt like it. 3 bathrooms with clawfoot tubs where, the minute I tried to get out of the tub on the slippery floor, I would break my neck.