Thursday, November 03, 2005

Simplicity and warmth in design

I tend to skip over the typical gushy and uninformed tech pieces in the mainstream press (take NYT, e.g.) but it's possible to pick up a few gems now and then. Phil Patton's article (Style meets function and technology gets a human touch, NYT, 11/02/05) has a few:

"Technology at its best is precise, clean, organized, and sometimes even magical," said Dan Harden of Whipsaw, a design consultancy that shapes high-tech products. "Technology is friendly when packaged in forms people like - otherwise it is cold and lifeless ... Design can soften technology, and make it into a warm and friendly experience."
The article also talks about the power of simplicity:
The basic bare lines of the iPod designs and the circle-on-a-square theme of their faces project a message of complexity made simple. They echo the midcentury modernist simplicity - classicism that outlasted the technology - of the radios and phonographs that Dieter Rams designed for Braun ... The iPod has spun off a vast industry of accessories - colorful and protective cases, tabletop speakers and so on ...The spirit of the iPod is evident in simple rubber-coated radios from Lexon or the big-knobbed Tivoli radios.

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