On Display 02: Simplicity

On Display – The design magazine accompanying the ​​Design Display exhibition series
Authors: Friedrich von Borries, Tobias Hoffmann, Florian Hufnagl, Niklas Maak, Sophie Lovell, Wilhelm Schmid
Art Direction: onlab, Berlin
Photographer: Ingo Mittelstaedt
Illustrator: Moritz Wienert

Time and again, designers have searched for simplicity. One element of that search is economic efficiency. Time and material, for example, can be economized in the production of simple objects. But simplicity also has an aesthetic dimension. Many designers consider it an expression of beauty. Most important of all, however, is its ethical significance: designers design things as simply as possible to avoid distracting users from the essentials.

For designer Jasper Morrison, simplicity means reduction to the ordinary and nondescript, as his tableware makes clear. Rafael Horzon, who designed the Modern shelf, sees simplicity as aesthetic minimalism. But his designs involve more than just objects. He also designs companies, ideas, and projects.