SimpleLiving 2.0

World War II directly affected the architecture and politics of London. The government began to have more of an influence on what they wanted produced at many scales; from a chair to a housing unit, state sponsored schemes became more and more prevalent as the second industrial revolution passed and a stronger focus of automobiles as transportation developed. The government presented The Utility Scheme, a socio-political opportunity for the people that provided design for the masses. This was the first time the privilege of an architectural knowledge was exposed to the public, allowing the public to practice what architects were. The Freedom by Design movement of 1948 lifted limitations on people who made furniture and allowed more freedom to create variations of design. The public was provided with pamphlets and exhibitions such as the Utility Furniture Exhibition at the Building Centre (1942) advertised the idea of simple living.

We’re seeing a modern Utility Scheme develop as designers are reintroducing concepts of simple living to today’s society. Many architects are exploring the idea of the mini house or mini apartments that can be replicated and produced for easier application to a larger utopian idea. Commercial stores, such as MUJI, have advertised their products to people as clean and simple living that is accessible to everyone. There has been a recent obsession with the idea of simple living as people are easily influenced by popular trends. The world is more populated than ever and cities are experiencing severe density issues; as history shows, architects are trying to design in order to react to what is currently happening while also in an attempt to prevent future problems, as these designs follow modern practices.   

Danya Li