There’s so much room for observations and analogies in the evolution of production trends. Analogies are not merely a candy for the brain. They bring along a deeper understanding of phenomena and ultimately are one of the greatest aides to align (or misalign) with mainstream.
If we look back, to the 18-19th century – mass production was a dream. The philosophy was: produce more. Lavish architecture designs, garments, gardens – everything created by people was about going more massive and taking much space. Standards of innovation have been changing over the centuries – what’s been innovative and massive, has been becoming obsolete. Minimalism is the new innovative. Is it because humans subconsciously feel they’ve taken too much terrain and sky on this planet for industrial experiments and now are trying to compensate for that by being minimalistic in everything? Or simply finding ways to fit in?
Hardware/software as well as visual designs and interfaces are meekly following the same trend. This just shows how subtly the “new innovative” standards are taking over. We remember huge PCs. Now we’ve got all kinds of minimalistic devices the names of which start with “i“. We remember waterfall. CMMI standards with their tons of rigid rules, regulations, documented processes. Now we’re going “lean” and “agile” – the same minimalistic tendency.
People have managed to stuff the overproduced artifacts not only all over the planet but all over themselves. Fatness is the problem. Again, what a shift in standards – as late as in the beginning or even middle of the 20th century it was considered trendy to be fat. Well, not obese, but hearty fat. Now, we’re all about lean. Off with plump beauties. Straighten up now, lean is the philosophy of minimalism in production.
P.S. I truly believe that all the fat folks are hiding the “lean” insignia deeply inside them. It just takes some effort to peel off the layers :)