BARE MINIMUM

By Erfaan

Society is obsessed with picturing and imagining what the world would look like in years from today. We, as humans constantly want to question and hypothesize changes, which not only occur with technology but with the whole world around us. Technology in particular has come such a far way in the last decade. Individuals in the last few decades would only dream of having portable 7” devices which could take photos, have a personalized cinema and video call friends who live half way across the world. Individuals living in the last few decades wouldn’t even have dreamed of having a personalized touch screen watch which allows for internet access, phone calls and also text messaging. All this alludes to the technological developments recently unveiled by Apple in their 2014 September keynote, the Apple ‘iWatch’ and ‘iPhone 6’.

All these recent developments and advancements in technologies including the iWatch, iPhone 6 and also technologies such as Google Glass raise many questions about the future of design and technology. One of the main questions, which many designers are interested in, is whether these technological advancements in the future will revolve more around putting an emphasis on decorative and aesthetic elements and less about form following function. One designer in particular, ‘Eric’ (who was interviewed regarding the topic of design and technology in the future) revolves his whole design work around stripping all of his designs back to the bare minimal, not just for aesthetic choices but for the sole reason that his design philosophy includes form following function. When asked about how Eric envisions the future of design and technology, they mentioned ideas about society being a consumer based society which is flooded with an abundance of corporates selling the same function with decorative and useless forms which only detract and hinder the design of a certain technology. Eric’s vision for the future is that the advancements in technology will only increase the amount of options that we, as a society will have when it comes to buying a certain function. This ultimately means that we will continue to a see a trend similar to what we are seeing today in designs and technologies. Designers and product designers will be forced to add on included bonuses and ploys in order to convince consumers that their design is more efficient than another when realistically both would merely offer the same function.

Today, these additional technological and design elements, which are included in order to be individual, have been proven to hinder and detract from designs delivering and following their stated function. Eric mentions prime examples of these, which can be seen in some products, which have been designed and engineered by Apple. Just recently the apple iPhone 6 has been criticized for problems and errors in its form, which ultimately means the function has failed. Eric’s own design philosophy is one, which he believes will not primarily be mainstream but rather those designs which put more emphasis on decorative and visual aesthetics will be the future of design and technology.

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