I've recently had an enlightening conversation with the prof I'm TA'ing for. We discussed, albeit for a fleeting moment, about sustainability in design and how to execute it.
The important question that the so-called minimalist design lack more often than not is "why"?
This ties in to a small online discussion about minimalist designs on Behance I had with my past roommates. People really take the concept for granted, designing something to "look" minimalist is a meaningless endeavour. True minimalism is hardly minimalist at all. They're backed up with a large amount of research, form exploration, and the designer's experiences to get to that point. Forced minimalism is minimalism, but only skin-deep. There's no philosophical approach, and it's only made to look such a way to garner some admiration from those that don't know any better. It's as if the designers acknowledge how shallow they are, and the only way for them to make it in the world is by copying the A E S T H E T I C S of actual designers.
By asking "why", we know whether the design approach actually encompasses the essence of minimalism, or simply the product of a low-hanging fruit designers picked due to varieties of personal vices.
Minimalism is a forbidden fruit.
Envy fuelled by the successes of a true minimalist.
Pride from their superior A E S T H E T I C S sense. /s
Lusting for admiration from a group of philistines.
Gluttony of feeding their bottomless egos.
Greed from stripping from creativity and chasing the market.
Sloth from stagnation, becoming lazy and refusing to change.
Wrath from getting overly defensive of their precious non-designs.
Minimalism exist for a purpose. It cannot just be. It happens for a reason, not simply from the whims of a designer. Sacrificing functionality without a purpose, or cutting it to a bare minimum should be a sin. If it applies to humanity -- you do not sacrifice your life for meaningless endeavours, nor do you give yourself the bare necessity to live, so why should that apply to design? It's unethical.