'Simplicity as a design principle,' a new exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, will use historical as well as present-day design objects to highlight the fact that there are many facets to simplicity, with economic, functional and emotional components running alongside aesthetics. This is because simplicity in design means not only a minimalist appearance, but in many cases also a de facto simplification of the products that reduce their complexity and improves the user experience as a result. In this way, the exhibition demonstrates what Leonardo da Vinci meant when he said: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
It wasn't until the beginning of industrialization at the end of the 18th century that the idea of simplicity in product design gained ground. After the introduction of mechanical production, more and more products had to be designed in such a way that they could be manufactured efficiently using industrial mass production methods. The bottom line was that simplicity was a means to an end and became the key principle of modernism.
"Simplicity is an important approach for mastering the complex challenges of the future," commented Professor Dr Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot. "It ensures that high-tech products remain manageable."
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