When teaching classic design – I am sure you cover the area of functionalism where the function of any object should determine fully its materials and design. Whether discussing Mies Van De Rohe’s ‘less is more’ architecture  or the many wonderful design objects of Dieter Rams – I think bringing the ideas of simplicity in terms of design, or design idea, or design concept are essential for a student to achieve well in their Major Projects in the Diploma. This does not mean that designs lack imaginative or creativity however – and below are two I have used recently to show how a simplicity of thought can bring wonderful designs of completely different origins :-

  1. A beautiful and simple Xmas tree design – that students could have easily designed and produced (and is environmental / could be manufactured etc.) The simplicity comes from the design itself and the understanding that a material like plywood can be finished to a high level and give a beautiful aesthetic finish – example. The simple concept of a new underwear design for young African women – is inspirational as it shows how a student intern through constructive discontent of her time in Uganda was able to come up with a simple solution to a what at first seemed a complex problem. Again easily designed and easily made and tested by students.

So make sure to get your students thinking beyond the basics of ‘less is more’ when approaching their design briefs.