Saturday, October 6, 2007

less is more...more or less

Sometimes simple ideas, solutions, drawings or sentences are brilliant and you are kicking yourself for not thinking of them, but sometimes very simple ideas seem unfinished and childlike and well...simple.

You know when someone explains something complicated in a simple way and you understand it clearly? and the reason that they can explain it that way is because they understand the complexity of the concept and are then able to reduce it to its important parts and themes. Sometimes people are able to make effective analogies that sum ideas up in an instant. These are smart people usually.

But then there is the horror of oversimplification, where the concept suffers, in some kind of integral way, from being reduced too much and the main point is missed or obscured.

It is so interesting to me to think about simplification as something to strive for in essence, but not too much or what you are doing will seem too reductionist and foolish.

As you stand in the class with a bright shiny apple on the desk, “this is what I invented”, you say, and everyone else has some kind of small machine whirring or chirping in the background. Your apple sits like a stupid stone, until someone is brave enough to take a bite or a sniff and appreciate the subtlety and innovation of your minimal masterpiece.

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