A History of Minimalissimo in Design

Once upon a time in 2009, there was two Dutch designers by the name of Maarten P. Kappert and Stan Grootes. Together, they created as a home to blog about interesting minimal designs they discovered on the web. What began as a personal archive of art and design, soon evolved into a much loved and bookmarked site that hundreds of thousands of people frequented. This was at a time when minimalism really started making waves, probably as a reaction to mass-production, throw-away culture, and meaningless design. This was supported by the widespread Western adoption of minimalism as a lifestyle principle. The societal impact of both design and wellbeing was visibly significant as a result and by 2011, minimalism became hugely influential (at least from our perspective) as a guiding principle in architecture and design. Of course, minimalism was widely applied to art long before this time, but let's not get hung up on the history of minimalism and all its nuances. You can find that somewhere else on the web. You're here to know a little more about Minimalissimo.

Maarten and Stan soon invited several contributors to help curate the site, focusing on a wide range of topics from architecture to furniture to graphic design, which only strengthened Minimalissimo's foothold as the web's leading site to discover minimal design inspiration. This was before social media platforms wreaked havoc on our lives of course. What a time to be alive. By the end of 2011, a Scottish-German by name of Carl Barenbrug (writing) took the helm for better or worse. Yes, definitely better. Thank you.

Minimalissimo has kind of come full circle yet continues to look forward with creative energy. The site has evolved from its initial blog style setup to adopting a magazine feel, supported by a trilogy of printed editions since 2016 and in 2021, the release of a high-quality photo book focused on minimal architecture. The gallery site has refined its focus on certain areas of minimalism, responding to reader interests and other niche inspiration platforms. Alongside this, Minimalissimo has passively monetised, experimenting and exploring various channels with mixed success yet stands sustainably. The most significant approach has been the opening of an online shop, which has encouraged in-house product design as well as interesting collaborations with various artists and design studios. This remains a key element to what Minimalissimo has become today: a digital and printed gallery and a creative design studio. The two sit in parity and will continue to evolve further under Carl's direction and the development support of Manu Moreale.