Less is more
What's the meaning of the phrase 'Less is more'?
The notion that simplicity and clarity lead to good design.
What's the origin of the phrase 'Less is more'?
This is a 19th century proverbial phrase. It is first found in print in Andrea del Sarto, 1855, a poem by Robert Browning:
Who strive - you don't know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) - so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.
The phrase is often associated with the architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969), one of the founders of modern architecture and a proponent of simplicity of style.
If his designs for tower blocks are anything to go by, he certainly lived up to his words.
See also: the List of Proverbs.