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COVERSTORY Simplicity FEATURE Good design is humble

62 | November 2017


CONTENTS

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4

EDITORIAL

Study association i.d

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2 0

B.A.B.E.

H O W T E N TA C L E S INSPIRED DESIGN

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2 2

C O V E R S T O RY

L E T ’ S TA L K ABOUT C H AT B O T S

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SIMPLICITY

O N E T O WAT C H

VETEMENTS 1 2

DESIGN E V E RY W H E R E

2 6

S T O RY B E H I N D

ICON DESIGN 2

november 2017 | turn the page


2 8

GOOD DESIGN IS humble

3 0

SIRI

3 1

GO LIGHT OR GO HOME

3 4

DELFT DESIGN LAB

3 6

CONTENTS

4 2

PEOPLE ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS

4 4

INVEST IN YOUR BASICS

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IMAGINE OTHERS C O M P L E X LY

4 8

DESIGNSCAPES

PHONE DETOX

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FA C E B O O K AGAINST THE WORLD turn the page | november 2017

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GADGETS

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EDITORIAL

Eva Oosterlaken Chairwoman

Casper van Alfen Treasurer

Fay de Grefte Qualitate Qua

Joost Tielken Acquisition

Sita de Kruijf Editor in chief

Nils Westhoff Publicity

Abe Minnema Layout

Renske de Jong Secretary

EDITORIAL Simplicity: it seems to be a trendy buzzword in the design world. Interior, graphic and product design have become increasingly minimal (especially aesthetically) over the past decade. For some, simplicity has even become a lifestyle: buy less, eat simpler foods (for example with less chemical ingredients) and reduce clutter and distractions. But what is simplicity? What is the difference between it and minimalism? Is it just a fashion trend or also a philosophy? Is simplicity the ultimate goal of design? All of our writers have tried to answer these questions in this Turn The Page. After writing features, conducting interviews and consulting many books and design

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legends (from Dieter Rams to Steve Jobs to Edward de Bono), we each thought to have figured it out. However, the moment we read another article in this Turn The Page we immediately began to doubt our own standpoints. This issue contains as many philosophical discussions (especially our Coverstory, page 8) about the role of simplicity in design as concrete examples of simple products. What you will not find: one true definition of simplicity. It doesn’t exist. I hope, however, that you will read the articles in this Turn The Page and decide on your true definition. Believe me: you will be inspired. Eva Oosterlaken Chairwoman

november 2017 | turn the page


B.A.B.E.

BOOKS APPS BLOGS EVENTS

by Joost Tielken

Youtube Terry White Do you need to learn to work with Adobe programs like Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign? It can be hard to find your way around those softwares if you have never used them before. Terry White is a youtuber who will help you understand the basics of the programs within an hour and if you try to keep up with the examples, you will learn quickly. With a bit of perseverance and messing about, you can expand your Adobe knowledge plenty. Still not satisfied with your skills? Luckily he posts videos about more advanced tools as well.

This is for all the creative students out there that are needful for an extra challenge. Every year since 1924, the board of the competition chooses different design briefs out of all the submissions. The briefs this year vary from eliminating waste using child toys to improving the quality of your sleep. What is in it for you? That depends on the case you are working on. It varies from money to a real job! To give you an idea about the prestige of this website. It contains a shortlist with previous winners and their companies. With well known brands like Apple and Nike, it is worth the effort to at least participate in the contest. One submission costs ÂŁ35 and entries starts at 15 January 2018. Do pay attention because your final deadline is on 14 March.

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B.A.B.E.

An introduction to information design How hard is easy communication? A well organised and intuitive app is not as easy to design as many would think. The same goes for road signs and icons that can be understood by any country, culture or background (except maybe for the blind). To come back at the question: how hard can it be? It is extremely hard. This book is an accessible to read introduction to simple graphic design. Also, it is always a great way to get some inspiration while scrolling through the book.

We have a dream Nowadays we can be pretty overt about discrimination and segregation in society, but this was not always been the case. Last century, a lot happened that changed this social problem. Many people have devoted or even given their lives to change the world to how we know it today. That is why in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam will honour three known figures that fought for justice and equality. Take a walk through the life of Mandela, Gandhi and Martin Luther King and experience the fight that they had to give and the sacrifices that they had to make.

The simplest computer - Ben Eater Ben Eater has a youtube channel that is basically programming for dummies. With his calm voice and slow hand gestures it is as useful as it is relaxing and after a soothing ten or twenty minutes you start to understand more about computers and how they do what they do! It might not be the newest or most record breaking, but it is definitely worth a try. By the way, you will never see a breadboard this organised ever again.

Check the website for more information: www.nieuwekerk.nl/en/ image by: Walter Dhladhla Staf GettyImages 1995

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B.A.B.E.

Bullet journaling Nowadays many of us are tempted to abandon our paper agenda and swap it for its modern digital brother. Sometimes it is easier to keep the old one, as some of us may experience. Bullet Journaling is a relatively new way of keeping track of appointments, to-do’s and social ventures. The best thing? You can start immediately! So what do you need? You will need a stack of well organised paper (like a notebook), a pen and five minutes to spare to watch a video about how to set up your own Bullet Journal. Guaranteed that your 2018 will be way more organised when mainly using pen and paper!

tnasaelpnU ngised This magazine always focuses on how beautiful and how clever design can be, but there is also another side of design; a dark side. Some products are made to be annoying or dreadful to operate. For instance, the mosquito device that emits a high tone that is only to be heard by younger people. It is meant to be annoying for loitering. The book Unpleasant Design exposes the other kind of design of which you seldom hear. The examples do not stop when you finish the book. The cover is from sandpaper, which of course is unpleasant to hold while reading. It is a cool new view on design and what it can achieve.

Meesterlijk design en ambacht At the beginning of December the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam will host the yearly Meesterlijk Design and Ambacht. This is a fair were artisans like jewelers, ceramists, designers and many more creative individuals get the opportunity to manifest themselves and show their latest works. While walking on the fair you might as well have a chat with the designers about their works. You are also able to purchase these handmade or one-off products immediately from the designer him or herself. How cool can your present be?

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smp You are a creator. Unfortunately, with great creations come great burdens. You are the balancer between the ever evolving techniques of the future and a silencing simplicity. We, as creators, try to make as many complex computer programs as possible to simplify our lives. Read that last sentence again, then you will understand my problem. by Fay de Grefte

The high-tech features on your phone are supported by a simple interface. I do not understand how we have managed to live with so many complications, which are all defined by things we want, when we do not need it to complete or emphasise our existence. I think that, like in Ockham’s razor: “Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”, plurality should not be practiced unless it is necessary. NOT SIMPLICITY

To understand the term ‘simplicity’ we have to dig deep. The word seems rather straightforward, but the meaning racks my brain. First of all, let us look at what simplicity is not. Minimalism? People try to look for simplicity in this philosophy. Let us agree that this term, that literally means ‘less’, is not the one and only solution, as life can become more difficult if you do not have the right resources, or any at all. For

example, being homeless means having less but it does not necessarily make your life any simpler. Owning everything in the world does not either. Simplicity as balance; I do not think so either. You can be in perfect balance with all your activities but still experience a lot of pressure. A poster can have exactly as much text or image on every spot but that does not mean it is easy to understand or read. So maybe ease is simplicity? They might sound like synonyms. Things that are simple are easy to do and to remember, right? I can argue that too, because someone being sad about 9/11 might be easy to understand but the feelings are not simple. On the contrary, sometimes easy things are the hardest to understand. Bare in mind that all of the above can be explained by simplicity but simplicity cannot be defined by all of the above.

Using simplicity is easy. Defining, or rather creating it is the work of a genius. Leonardo Davinci said it best: “Simplicity is the greatest sophistication.” COMPLEXITY

Let us take a look at what feeds simplicity: complexity. These terms are like night and day. However, the moon needs the sun so they can both be the best they can. What if I tell you that chaos is, in fact, surprisingly simple? That would bring us to the theory of John Gribbin. In his book, he explains that all chaos and surface complexity arises out of deep simplicity. This can be clarified by two laws that all systems obey. A swinging pendulum, the Solar System, water dripping from a tap, everything is in some shape or form reliant on its starting conditions. A small difference in the initial push can heavily impact in 1


lct To be able to simplify things is to understand them truly.


where an object ends up. The second law is the law of ‘feedback’; everything a system does will eventually have an impact on its own behavior. Remember from this theory that simplicity underpins all complexity. Chaos can be untangled.

a need to hold on to simplicity. It might be the thought-provoking study, it might be his style of writing, but I think the main reason why people love this book is the title. It is the lateral thinking that convinces you simplicity is a key value in modern day life.

holes in your phone so make one and use bluetooth to listen to music. All the things we do need can be hidden. If you make a little bike lamp and make the hardware see through everyone will believe it to be a more complicated product than an iPhone.

There is no simplicity without complexity. Every sentence I write is structured differently, because we believe sentences should differ. Words should alter. Constructions should alter. I should alter. I have trouble writing these sentences. You have trouble enjoying the text. Instead, we use different sequences and synonyms to make things more interesting and exciting to read (or listen to or see). People use complexity to make things interesting. Also, complexity is a must, just so we can define simplicity when we see it. The best way to look at it is like a sinus curve: below the midline we have complexity and above we have simplicity, and to exist they both must alternate between one another. If this does not convince you maybe John Maede can, in his book ‘Laws of simplicity’.

How do we, as creators, advocate this phenomenon? How do you make our products so simple in order for them to be used to the fullest? An item should be designed in such a way that it proves it offers an endless amount of possibilities without scaring anyone off- it must balance seeming complex with being simple to use. When a product is too complex, it can insinuate a steep learning curve (require its user to have to learn new skills in order to use the product). Can a designer even do that? It seems like a paradox in this rapidly evolving technical world, in which we strive to make things easier. Maybe it is because technology is becoming more complex, that user interaction had to become more simple. The newest scientific gadgets are wrapped, preferably, in a log of wood. Because we understand the log of wood, we know it. After that make sure it has as few buttons as possible. Maybe one day Apple will succeed their quest to ‘nobuttons-at-all-land’.

T H E P U B L I C T R A N S P O R T WAY

DESIGN FOR SIMPLICITY

As I said in the introduction, a creator is a Semi-God in a universe where simplicity is heaven and technology represents earth. In the well-known book ‘Simplicity’, the British psychologist and inventor Edward de Bono writes about the rollercoaster of the 20th century, in which complexity was the engine but we, as human beings, felt

T H E A P P L E WAY

A keyword in this quest is ‘hiding’. All the things we do not need can be thrown away instantly. You do not need three different

Another thing we must consider is time. If things take less time, or seem to take less time, they appear simpler. If going to the hospital is a 10 minute deal, it is as simple as dropping by. But make people wait eight and a half hours and it is harder. Did you notice what I did here? I made the two time frames of a different length so it would cost you more time to read it. Funny, right? The second sentence is so much less simple than the first. Well, quod erat demonstrandum (or QED if you like). T H E S C A N D I N AV I A N WAY

In order to become a master of simplicity, you must desire it more than anything. When determining whether simplicity is a real value, you must be prepared to trade off other values. Look at the Swedish furniture mega giant IKEA. One of their main points of existence is democracy and therefore they want simplicity in their products. They are willing to work on making functionality a reality to make the experience less complex. Rooms that are pre-decorated, child-like assembly instructions and the uninspired, yet wildly successful ‘Billy’ bookcase.


T H E O N LY WAY

John Maeda’s dictates in his ‘Laws of Simplicity’: Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. I have read about a dozen books on simplicity and I need you to remember this. Question every feature of your product and modify if you can. Go out of your way to design simple and if, after you have considered every possible way, you still can not see the wood for the trees, start over.

So, I did write you a text (well, a sequence of words) about simplicity and balancing this with modern-day technology. At least, I would like to think so. The stupid thing about simplicity is the more you focus on it, the harder it is to see it clearly. Even with the relatively concrete tips I have written down for you, it seems to me you are even more curious for what simplicity is. So essentially, I made your career as a designer less simple. Sorry! 3


DESIGN EVERYWHERE

Buildings form the spine of a city. Therefore, their character defines the city’s character as well. Florence’s architectural landscape fathers Renaissance style. The imposing, classical churches and buildings remind the visitor of the classical antiquity. In this specific case of the buildings along the river, we can recognise some features of the Renaissance revival: the horizontal lines that divide the battlefront in planes, the symmetrical style and the smaller upper windows. Since Renaissance style is one of the purest forms of Italian ‘design’, this element contributes to the typically Italian image. This one is a design classic that most people immediately associate with Italy. The designer Corradino D’Asciano, who was asked by Piaggio to design a motorcycle, was not shy to announce that he actually hated these vehicles. He thought they were bulky, dirty and inelegant (so un-Italian, you could say). He battles all of those disadvantages by coming up with a refined motorcycle that was easier to get on and of - also for women in dresses. Also, the shape prevented dirt hitting the rider. “Sembra una vespa!”, or “It looks like a wasp!”, Enrico Piaggio exclaimed. The Vespa is graceful, classical, timeless; you can not get more Italian than this.

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Una città Italiana

DESIGN EVERYWHERE

photo and text by Sita de Kruijf

“Industrial design is everywhere you look, all around you!” There is a high chance you recognise this quote, since IDE lecturers’ greatest hobby seems to be to propagate this all the time: we, as industrial designers, design the world. Let us put this statement to the test. In front of you is a seemingly normal photo, taken next to the river Arno in Florence. Indeed, almost every object on there is designed by someone. How are these elements connected to design? How do their characteristics add up to something we immediately recognise as Italian? Oh, one more thing: we have to adjust the statement a little bit, we should give some credit to our colleagues of architecture and fashion design as well.

Something as simple as a woman walking down the streets influences the character of this photo. The loose but elegant dress she is wearing shows some truly Italian personality. Italy, leading country on the field of fashion, sees their fashion designers not so much as an artist, but more as a part of the industrial system. Combining the newest technology and the traditional craftsmanship, they leave their mark on everyday Italian style, which is characterised by understated luxury and modernism. This woman’s styling represents the elegance and contemporaneity that Italy stands for.

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Study association i.d

Freshmen weekend What a lovely weekend it was. I think we found the Fantastic Hipsters! We got the chance to meet 275 freshmen, welcomed them to the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering and most importantly, showed them what Study association i.d has to offer. We had one foam bath, two parties, three days and four Houses. Congratulations to Hipperpuf, who won the weekend collecting the most points over different games!

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november 2017 | turn the page


Study association i.d

Verplicht College To open the college year festively, we organised an open and free lecture in the Lorre. For seven marvellous hours we taught you the essentials RGBeer, Adobe InDancing and Geen Rem Koolhaas. We hope you enjoyed the music and the company!

Dutch Design Week Acti.d’s first event of the year was a trip to Eindhoven to visit the Dutch Design Week. Over 30 i.d-Members joined to set their eyes on the work of fellow designers. The whole group started their day at the Design Perron, where there was a foggy space, lit by moving lasers. An interesting audiovisual experience. After that, the group quickly split up in smaller groups because everyone had different plans for the day. There were plenty of fun activities and expositions, like the Embassy of Food, the yearly returning Graduation Show and Mind the Step, a joined project by TU Twente, TU/e and TU/d, at Het Klokgebouw.

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Study association i.d

Lustrum IX Opening This year we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Study association i.d, better known as the 9th Lustrum. The committee that will make sure you enjoy this year filled with parties and crazy activities kicked it off accordingly. The day started with a talk of Judith, the president of the Lustrum committee. She introduced Ena Voute, our dean, and together they opened this wonderful year. After that Bruno Ninaber, Honorable Member of Study association i.d, spoke in the IDE Hall. Their words were inspiring and promising for every student.

Zipline After the talk Ena and Bruno flew above the working students. What? Yes! With a zipline they literally soared above the tables of our faculty. Many students followed, enjoying the ride of their lives!

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Study association i.d

Oktoberfest The first event of i.d-Kafee 46 and they could welcome over 600 people, without any problems. Not only did they toast to the ninth Lustrum, they also kept the beautiful tradition of Oktoberfest alive and maybe even topped last year. Cheers to the dirndls and lederhosen!

Cantus In the evening the legendary cantus took place. If you have not heard of it; your friends probably had too much to drink that night, because except for the gallons of beer and broken tables, the atmosphere was unforgettable!

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Study association i.d

Ski.d location announcement We all desperately wanted to know where the ski-trip is going this year. Well, exclusively for the i.d-Kafee visitors, the committee made a fabulous movie about the destination. Saint Francois Longchamp is a great area with loads of pistes for experienced people and even more aprĂŠs-ski-bars!

Special Members Assembly

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On Monday 18 September, the Special Members Assembly took place. Board 44 was discharged from their functions and Board 45 was installed. Speeches, presents and emotions made these few hours memorable. The new board will be focussing on the branding of the study association, the Lustrum year, the Honorable Members and professionalism of i.d-Members.

november 2017 | turn the page


Study association i.d

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EJF: Bad gaan

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Lustrum Week

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Exi.d to Berlin

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i.day

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Cases On Tour

Nov

Nov

Dec

Dec

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The first party of the Freshmen committee at i.d-Kafee, be there!

Because of our 9th Lustrum we have parties from Monday until Friday.

Great destination and a studentprice. You will love this years trip.

Want to join the EJW-committee or organise Sumercue? Come to i.day!

Solving several difficult cases in a few days, are you up for the task?

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Simplicity is not a simple thing

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