Lesson: MINIMALISM (in progress)

Part 3.

a. Read and discuss.

Less is more

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), architect associated with modernism

Less is a bore

Robert Venturi (1925 – 2018), architect associated with postmodernism

b. If you had to live in a house designed by Mies van der Rohe or Venturi, which would you choose?

c. Check out these two houses. How would you describe the style, both exterior and interior? Which do you actually prefer?

Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (the gallery is lower down the page)

Abrams House by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (you’ll have to imagine this house in perfect condition)

d. Here’s an article by Alexandra Markey, using the two maxims quoted above.


Read the first half (about minimalism).

  • Why does minimalist decor appeal to corporations?
  • What psychological benefits of minimalism does the writer hint at?

e. Before reading the second part of the article, discuss the potential benefits of maximalism in workplace design.

f. Now read the second half of the article and compare the writer’s points with your own.

g. Find phrases in Alexandra Markey’s text that mean the same as the ones below:

From paragraphs 1-2:

  • has become commonplace in everyday life
  • removing unnecessary decoration
  • is a useful set of instructions

From lower down the ‘minimalism’ section:

  • allows the eyes to rest and to focus
  • to be noticeable

From the ‘maximalism’ section:

  • a place with lots of interesting things to look at
  • fancy decorations
  • shows pride in the things the company has given to the world

-More on Part 3-

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