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What is cluttercore? A new trend for artistic disorder

19 of February '21

If you're not a fan or fan of minimalism, you love to surround yourself with objects, interior eclecticism is no stranger to you, and unexpected treasures can be found in every nook and cranny of your home or apartment, then you fit into one of the current trends. Cluttercore, conquering social media, is a weakness for junk and clutter, which, after all, might as well be called artistic disorder.

Although the current reigning trend is minimalism and a move away from a consumerist lifestyle, at the opposite pole of this attitude is a strong competitor, cluttercore. The redundant, eclectic aesthetic that elevates seemingly useless and messy elements of a space to a pedestal takes its name from the English "clutter", meaning mess, and "core", meaning base, foundation or center. Thus, cluttercore puts at the center precisely disorder, exaggeration, which become something desirable and causing a sense of comfort. One of the factors influencing the spread of this aesthetic and paying more attention to the objects around us has turned out to be a pandemic, related firstly to staying indoors more often, and secondly to reevaluating our approach to space.

chaos, but only apparent

Cluttercore aesthetics is mainly manifested in spaces such as the bedroom, living room and kitchen. Being in the midst of a large number of objects, which for some reason have been chosen by their owner or possessor, provokes us to think about the needs we associate with space and a sense of comfort. However, it's not that suddenly the objects have started to arrive, we buy them more or less rationally, but rather to look for a use for what we already have. After all, the most ecological is to use the existing potential precisely for seemingly unnecessary junk. It should be emphasized here that cluttercore is not just ordinary clutter, but precisely artistic disorder, which can be counter-intuitively well organized, where each item has its place. Aesthetics is based on the apparent chaos associated with displaying numerous things, small private collections, intimate archives, but not on actual clutter.

Widok na
przestrzeń w estetyce cluttercore

A view of the space in cluttercore aesthetics

photo by Jonathan Borba © Unsplash

a challenge for architects

On TikTok and Instagram, the cluttercore trend has garnered millions of views because it focuses on authenticity, individuality and invention. Standing in opposition to idel designed minimalist interiors, it also poses a considerable challenge for architects, who are tasked with meeting the needs of fans of the cluttercore aesthetic. And this is due to the fact that such interiors and their character are created over the years and are the result of the juxtaposition of different objects, from different places, with different histories. Often these items are absolutely kitsch, but they represent sentimental value for a person.

memory archive

Cluttercore can be perceived in very extreme ways. For some, it's an air of naturalness that perfect, economical interiors lack, while for others it's simply unsightly clutter. However, if we follow the path of psychology and treat the place where we live as a metaphor for the "life situation" and the basis of identity, then the house becomes an extension of ourselves, a kind of memory archive. Therefore, having artistic disorder, it is by no means worth giving it up in the space where we live.

Katarzyna Oczkowska

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