My Design Obsession
Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. – Aristotle
In 2017, I started an experiment asking people what their passions are and not what they do for a living. The responses were amazing and really illuminating on who and what was behind a name and face. When I asked myself the same question I struggled to find a succinct and clear answer. I believe I know now what my singular passion is and has been my whole life. I’m singularly obsessed with truly inspiring great design. I have lots of interests, but the beautiful design is what connects them all.
And not just design of material things but how we design experiences as well. When achieved, truly remarkable designs are elegant, efficient, and intuitive. Yet, they don’t exist in some final state of timeless beauty. Instead, through some invisible process of continuous improvement, even the immutable seems to adapt to the times. Great design is deconstructed in a way. Leaning on iconographic representations of common ideas to communicate something so universal and generally instinctive.
It’s taken me a while to understand this but I understand it fully now. I find a lift in the careful crafting of a coffee cup, to the clear language-less marking of a trail path in simple geometric representations, up to the carefully planned on-boarding experience of a new app, job, vacation. I am the person that geeks out over the clever and uniform wardrobe design of someone like Matilda Kahl. Thoughtful design is man’s super power. Man is able to take creative energy, apply analytical rigor, and output something that is like a breath of fresh air among the stale and repetitive sea of content.
Some Examples (subjective to a degree)
Most of these examples are pieces that are timeless yet somehow still forward-looking. Simple yet fully functional. The one topic I didn’t cover but wanted to was nature. Nature is the great master of all design. There are too many examples of where nature has achieved through evolutionary refinement. The natural world shows us how necessity has created designs so ingenious they can produce jaw dropping awe. I’ve learned that the best cure for a creative block is to find inspiration in nature. My featured image is a spider’s web intentionally. It’s simplicity belies its functional power and ingenuity.
Great design can be applied to yourself as well. Every decision factors into how we design the experience of our lives. Whether we create or just consume. What are commute will be, or how our weekends will flow, or what our morning routine will be. We can sketch out truly meaningful and interesting lives when we apply careful reflection on past experiences and emotions and an eye on the bigger picture.
Ultimately, I have no desire to make a radical career change or become a design critic. I do, however, want to be more conscious of how I apply design to everything I encounter. From a friendship, to a vacation, side endeavors, and what I do for a living. It’s important to work towards the continuous improvement of the self and decouple from trends or social mores. Design is particularly important to me in the America because our appetite and ability to create and consume the new all the time can come at the expense of timeless design. A better take and a great Podcast episode on the Design can be found a the Ted Radio Hour called, “The Power of Design.”
"Richard Bakare", Adobe, AirBnB, Antoni Gaudí, Apple, Architecture, Bang & Olufsen, Blog, Christopher Nolan, Codecademy, Design, Dyson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Med Sailors, Michael Mann, Nature, Schiphol Airport, Shazam, Simplicity, Stanley Kubrick, Zaha Hadid