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Conscious Living live a meaningful life by managing belongings, relationships, and activities

EunJi Byun


Printed at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD Copyright Š 2016 by EunJi Byun All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations. Designed by EunJi Byun / www.ejbyun.com Typeset in DIN Next by Akira Kobayashi and Sandra Winter, and Inconsolata by Raph Levien. First Printing, 2016


CONSCIOUS LIVING

live a meaningful life by managing belongings, relationships, and free time

EunJi Byun


,

I hope that you will find value through this book.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

08belongings

LIVING WITH ITEMS YOU VALUE

24relationships LOVING PEOPLE WHO MATTER

40activities

USING IDLE MOMENTS WISELY

56outcome

ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS


AUTHOR'S MESSAGE

In the past, when I designed something, I focused on making delightful designs to make my audience happy through pleasant visual experiences. However, I think designers should not forget the purpose of design and its psychological impact; these are as critical as the appearance. Through my work I like to contemplate and then develop theories behind my designs. In my life, I try to achieve meaning by managing my belongings, relationships, and free time. I was fascinated by the concept of minimalism because the theory behind how I approach my life is very similar to how I approach design.

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When people find something valuable, they share it. The main reason why I made this book is because I want to share my approach with people who are important to me. My hope is for you to find value in reading the book by coming up with your own approaches. I encourage you to be introspective and ask questions. It will help you to find value.

EunJi Byun

introduction

7


LIVING WITH ITEMS YOU VALUE

belongings


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LIVING WITH ITEMS YOU VALUE

benefits lose feelings of attachment Life feels more relaxed because you do not own unnecessary items.

have a clean house Your home collects less dust when you don't have useless items. Cleaning takes less time.

find your style Items that remain are the only ones that you truly love and fit you well.

acquire better quality items When buying something that you already have, the replacement should be of better quality.

save money There is not much stuff to buy when you are happy with what you already have.

belongings

11


all of my belongings

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essentials

belongings

13


LIVING WITH ITEMS YOU VALUE

identifying I once had a blush that I never used. I asked myself, "why am I keeping it?" The answer was because it reminded me of my mother. I then asked "why does it remind me of my mother?" As a child, I watched her apply blush on her cheeks. I asked, "then why am I keeping this again?" The blush reminded me of the experience of small moments with my mom because I did not spend much time with her growing up. This questioning helps me to find value or throw stuff away. In the end, I threw away the blush because I wanted to spend more time with my mother instead of leaving the blush in my bag.

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belongings

15


Do these items bring me joy?

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BABY ITEMS I started throwing away items I was not emotionally attached to. I still have a hard time throwing away kitchenware because I love making food. If you find greater value in something, it’s okay to keep it.

belongings

17


What can

I

substitute these with?

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BETTER QUALITY ITEMS It’s fine to buy stuff to improve your quality of life. Swapping poor-quality items with better items is one way of living a more practical life. You will be surprised by how much junk retail stores sell and you will look at items in a different way.

belongings

19


Am I going to use these items in

two

weeks?

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JUST-IN-CASE ITEMS The average consumer uses a drill for about ten minutes at most after it is purchased. Camping gear, sewing machines, food dehydrators, or anything that I barely use, I can always borrow from people.

belongings

21


I realized t use or even l my belongings were, I was stuff that wou 80% cat

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hat I didn't ook at 80% of , and chances still buying uld go in that tegory.

belongings

23


LOVING PEOPLE WHO MATTER

relationships


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LOVING PEOPLE WHO MATTER

benefits break off superficial friendships Don't keep in touch with people who are bad influences on you.

live stress-free from disturbances Feel more relief because you choose not to listen to people who are not essential to you.

spend more time with people who matter Show the people who matter to you that you care about them.

respect yourself Follow your instinct if you want to say yes or no when you get requests from people.

appreciate your supporters Spend more time with people who advocate for you and make steps to improve your life.

relationships

27


people in my life

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essentials

relationships

29


LOVING PEOPLE WHO MATTER

identifying I always responded to everyone's requests for attention and got annoyed that my time was wasted on them. I asked, "who do I want to spend time with?" The answer was of course not with the person who asked for help. "Then why do I keep helping this person?" I did not want to say no because I did not want to come across as mean and uncaring. I asked, "why am I caring if the person does not matter to me that much?" It is exhausting to please everyone. Instead of trying to make everyone happy, I started to appreciate my supporters and chose to spend more time with them.

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relationships

31


Who do I

want

to spend

time

with?

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SUPERFICIAL FRIENDSHIPS I turned off all notifications on my phone except those from my family and close friends. I would rather prioritize spending time with important people in my life than answering all requests.

relationships

33


Do I want

to

keep these gifts?

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GIFTS THAT YOU DON'T WANT Before the holiday season, I told my friends and family that I didn't need a gift. Instead, I told them that I wanted to share experiences such as walking in a park, cooking a meal, or watching a film.

relationships

35


What is valuable

for

them?

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RELATIONSHIPS WITH NON-MINIMALISTS Instead of telling people to throw away their stuff to become a minimalist, tell them why you value living this lifestyle, and what benefits they could get from it.

relationships

37


I forced mys stressful si saying yes to I didn't want instead of s with people valua

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elf to be in ituations by requests that to carry out pending time who are more able.

relationships

39


USING FREE TIME WISELY

activities


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USING FREE TIME WISELY

benefits achieve your goals Prioritize what is more important for you in order to help you achieve goals faster.

enjoy what you do Set up how long you will enjoy doing tasks instead of doing activities unconsciously.

pay attention to yourself Learn about yourself through finding what is good and valuable to you.

discover your interests Take time to discover what you like to do when you are focusing on yourself.

be productive You will work faster when you remove any unnecessary focuses.

activities

43


everything that I could do

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essentials

activities

45


USING TIME WISELY

identifying One of my bad habits was watching online videos compulsively. I asked myself, "Why can't I stop watching?" The answer was because I constantly watched suggested videos back-to-back. "Why am I seduced by these suggestions?" The internet knows what kind of videos I like to watch and the thumbnails are eye catching. I asked once again, "Is it necessary to watch videos longer than I need to?" I ended up downloading the site block app to block the video website because I kept searching the website. When that habit was gone, I controlled how much I wanted to enjoy watching videos.

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activities

47


What is disrupting me?

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DISRUPTION I try not to use the internet because I can’t stop watching and checking webtoons and YouTube videos. Turning off the internet and phone helps me to be productive.

activities

49


How long I want to

do do

this?

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SELF-CARE It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy doing unhelpful activities if you find that you are enjoying your time doing it. However, try to plan how long you want to do them. That way you can truly enjoy and not feel guilty about not being productive.

activities

51


What tasks are more important?

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PLANNING WHAT TO DO Make time to do something for yourself such as watching documentaries, reading books, or listening to a podcast. When you take care of yourself, you won't need to call out for attention.

activities

53


I was spend time watching videos, chec media posts, people who essentia

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ing so much g meaningless cking social , or helping o were not l to me.

activities

55


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o utcome ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS

outcome

57


ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS

aspiration My house and attitude changed so much through this minimalisic lifestyle. Today I have less responsibilities with less belongings, however, there are still many things to declutter. I still need to find something to work for such as my health, passions, and people who matter to me.Decluttering never ends and a minimalistic lifestyle is not simple. A minimalistic lifestyle is not about getting rid of stuff. The more I let things go, the more it makes me ask questions. Who is the person I want to become? How am I going to define my own success? These are tough questions

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to answer, but these thought-provoking questions achieve efficient answers. I think the way to live a meaningful life is to start asking these postive questions that bring value to my life.

outcome

59


BEFORE

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AFTER

outcome

61


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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brown, Tim, and Barry Ktz. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation . New York: Harper Business, 2009. Print. Gelman, Alexander, and Baruch Gorkin. Subtraction: Aspects of Essential Design . Crans-Près-Céligny: RotoVision, 2000. Print. Hara, K. (2007). Designing design . Baden, Switzerland: Lars Müller. Hara, K. (2010). White . Baden, Switzerland: Lars Müller. Korst, Amy. The Zero-waste Lifestyle : Live Well by Throwing Away Less. Berkeley: Ten Speed, 2012. Print. Kondo, Marie, and Barbara Lampe. Spark Joy . Amsterdam: Lev., 2016. Print. Kondo, Marie, and Cathy Hirano. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying . London: Vermilion, 2014. Print. Morrison, Jasper, and Naoto Fukasawa. Super Normal . Germany?: Lars Müller, 2006. Print Schonlau, Julia. Minimalist Graphics . New York: Harper Design, 2011. Print. Tolley, Stuart. MIN: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design . London: Thames & Hudson, 2016. Print.

bibliography

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A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO

Emily Ashley Shantie Anna Nitaya Marissa

conclusion

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EunJi is a South Korean graphic designer based in the US. She is obtained her bachelor's degree from Maryland Institute College of Art in December 2016. She lives a minimalistic lifestyle and her design interests are branding strategy, conceptual design, and UX/UI design. Her mission is to understand brand and audience by finding problems and creating designs that communicate with minimum essential elements for maximum effect. Her exploration of ideas and learning from experiences lead to clever design solutions. After graduation, she plans to continue to live consciously and innovatively.

www.ejbyun.com

belongings

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belongings

relationships

free time


Conscious Living