Going minimalThis is a reflection on Punya’s post entitled “Minimalism / 917 on my mind”.

One of my favourite questions to ask/answer is: “if you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what would you bring with you?” Let’s add to that question the fact that all your objects need to be able to fit in a backpack. What would I bring?

Should I bring things of personal value? Things of survival value? Should I choose to bring with me things I can’t/don’t want to survive without? Or should I bring things that without, I can’t/won’t be able to survive?

To make it analogous to the design process, the question of “form or function” comes to the surface again. When designing a personal website, having a body of plain text to describe your accomplishments and who you are would suffice. How come people (myself included) feel a need to make it more aesthetically pleasing. To choose a colour palette that indirectly tells the reading something about me?

I can only bring with me 15 or so items – how many ever that can fit in a backpack (without making the backpack impossible to carry – function). An important question then to ask is: “What is the purpose?” Is the purpose of this “going minimal” adventure to survive a deserted island? Or travel the world to find my self?

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