In his 1976 speech “10 Principles for Good Design,“ industrial designer Dieter Rams stated that “good design is as little design as possible.” Over the years, his words have become gospel in the design industry — and for good reason. There are many occasions where simple design can solve even the most complicated and longstanding questions. In fact, the relationship between complexity and simplicity is well-researched in design thinking: the term “simplexity” addresses the complementary relation between these two opposites.
Boiled down to its basic definition, simplexity dictates that simple interfaces tend to improve the usability of complex systems. In other words, the most complicated problems stand to be solved using the simplest solutions. Below, we’ve selected an array of products exemplifying this theory, each the recipient of an iF Design Award 2021 — an accolade which Dieter Rams himself received on multiple occasions over the years for his designs for Braun.
With its sleek black ribbed exterior and soft leather handle, the Carrime2 by Daikin looks more like a design object than a traditional air conditioning unit. The handle allows it to be carried anywhere, and moved around a space to find the perfect fit. Recently updated from its original design, the Carrime2 now reaches a larger area with less noise, thanks to a new and improved fan, compressor and heat exchanger.
Available in overhead shower and hand-held shower iterations, the Axor One by Barber & Ogersby delivers a steady and constant shower stream without aesthetic compromise. The purity and simplicity of Axor One’s design language makes it an ideal choice for almost any bathroom setting. An integrated wall outlet allows for a clean appearance that will remain untouched by age and use. The range is fully customizable in an array of Axor finishes, and offers a specialized PowderRain option for a splash-less experience.
Weighing in at only 59 grams, the Tdot keyboard is a long way from the traditional Perkins brailler. While the latter resembles the typewriter in both form and usefulness, the Tdot is portable and adaptable. Aptly named for the T-shape it takes on when in use, the innovative product is made with 12 input keys and one jog wheel, to boost the navigating function which allows users to type faster. Available in six bright colours, the Tdot is also markedly affordable — retailing at 1/10th of the price of an average braille keyboard.
Most projectors on the market must be placed away from their projection wall, crowding the space. The Premiere 4k by Samsung short-throw projectors are devoid of this flaw — conveniently designed to sit close to the projection site, the Premiere is a space-saving alternative to a wall-mounted television. Its soft edges and rounded shape allow it to fit neatly into any interior without dominating the space, while a Nordic fabric application on the front of the projector blends naturally into any environment. Bonus: it even includes surround sound.
The Mio bathroom unit by Nuovvo is understated, yet elegant. The absence of handles overpowering the design — a discrete knob replaces the hot/cold switches — as well as the rounded, sinuous shape of the basin demonstrate a singular purity of form. A seamless two-drawer unit adds functionality to the design without taking away from its refined outline. Built with a high-quality matte lacquered wood, Mio is a timeless addition to any loo — both graceful and casual at once.
Hygiene has become a major factor in kitchen design. The Masterbox kitchen system by Inkwerk responds to these evolving expectations — constructed primarily from steel, and thus moisture- and heat-resistant, the all-metal system material is much more sanitary than those made of wood — and it’s free of fire risk. Built with long-lasting recycled sheet metal panels, Masterbox is also a sustainable alternative to kitchen systems made out of chipboards. Suitable for home applications as well as offices or hotels, the Masterbox system is a truly versatile yet distinct kitchen product.
Designed to perform a wide range of machining tasks on various materials, the Axia milling system by Nacar Studio is proof that industrial equipment can be built intricately and beautifully. The Axia’s precise machinery and aesthetic form simplify its use without sacrificing the quality of both simple and complex machining tasks (from power turbines to construction moulds). It’s an honest, elevated approach to industrial processes with an eye for detail.
With an integrated kickstand and slim body, the TOGO85º looks similar to your everyday high-end bicycle — until you get closer. Designed for urban users, TOGO85º replaces the traditional chain-drive with a maintenance-free shaft drive, allowing for durability and consistency, as well as lower maintenance costs. Its strong, impact-resistant structure generates a smoother and safer riding experience. High-tech amenities such as a smart sensor, which detects the terrain and adjusts the power output accordingly, make this bike one of the safest on the market — not to mention, you won’t have to pedal.
This content was published by Azure on behalf of iF Design.
These award-winning products prove that the best design can offer simple solutions to complex problems.