Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Trouble With Modern Design

Hedonist or not, we all like beauty. It’s what we instinctively gravitate toward. 

Think about it. Where do we travel to? Where do we get married? What do we want our homes to look like?

We crave to be in beautiful places. And that’s precisely the problem we’re suffering from today, many modern designers don’t seem to care about beauty anymore. Everything seems to revolve around functional minimalism.

Consider the typical office building. 

An open space coloured in hues of grey, with low ceilings that wield fluorescent bulbs. Horrendous. It’s more like a car factory than a workplace. 

Yet almost all modern offices across the world look the same. Lifeless uniformity has become the norm.

And it’s not just offices, it’s everything: bridges, restrooms, lifts, door knobs, balconies, fences, and bollards. Beauty in design is taking a backseat to usability. 

And that’s a shame. Because the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

The pretty doorbell on the left rings just as well as the one on the right, but it’s just a little nicer to look at. Instead of being made for some cold-hearted automaton, it was designed for people like you and me. People with a taste for beauty and character. 

We feel most comfortable in places that look like they were made by people, not machines.

So let’s do everyone a favour and design things for human eyeballs. Functional minimalism doesn’t mean that things have to be stripped away of all details and charm.

P.S. For more articulated thoughts on beauty in architecture, sign up for the newsletter of Areopagus. He’s got some very interesting ideas. Many of which I shamelessly lifted to use in this blog post, hihi.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach