Less is more as growth is redefined

Real estate should adopt 19th century expression to reduce waste and become more efficient, writes Ron van Bloois.

Are you used to getting more? Are our society and our business environment solely focused on growth and making more of everything – be it career, remuneration, shares, turnover, profits?

What’s the definition of growth, or how should we redefine the term to make it meaningful and relevant as we aim for a sustainable future? Let’s take some inspiration from outside the real assets world.

The expression “less is more” originally comes from a poem written in 1855 by Robert Browning, titled The Faultless Painter. In the poem, the Italian artist Andrea del Sarto says to his wife: “Yet do much less, so much less. Well, less is more.”

Bare essentials

The phrase was then adopted in 1947 by the renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He stripped a design down to its bare essentials, eliminating anything that did not contribute to beauty or function. The result was astonishing, modernist architecture.

So the question is: are we able to generate more quality by reducing quantity? The answer is a resounding YES.

It takes a different scope, economical measurement and behaviour. If we want our built environment to contribute to a better world, we should stop talking and starting acting. We should start now by doing less – with less waste – but better and more efficiently. Think about it. Are you convinced? Less gives space for more!