rampstyle #25 – Keep It Simple and Smart

The world is complicated enough. So let's just keep things ... simple. Just like the "KISS" principle says. The magazine's title "Keep It Simple and Smart" was thus already finely defined. When the opportunity also arises for Canadian rock legend Bryan Adams to photograph singer-songwriter James Bay exclusively for us, it had to be a cover. So simple. And smart.
Text Michael Köckritz
Photo ramp

We prefer to experience our world not only as rather complicated, but also as extremely complex, and while complicated systems ultimately offer themselves dutifully to our understanding through clearly defined connections of the individual elements as well as causal relationships of cause and effect, this unfortunately does not apply to the complex systems. Here, everything is non-linear, wild, open-ended, inscrutable, unpredictable. And there we are, more or less merrily in the middle of it all.

Mega enormous complex dang it!

Simple looks different. Doesn’t it? Exactly!

We took a closer look – and discovered the fascination and effective validity of solutions that are as simple, minimalist and easy to understand as possible. In short, the KISS principle applies: “Keep it simple, stupid”, “stupid” here being a humorous form of address, with the flippant but well-intentioned meaning “Don’t be so stupid as to rack your brains when there’s an easier way to do it!” Seen in this light, KISS, which can be applied as a guiding principle to a wonderful number of tasks and applications, can certainly be understood as an ingenious principle in the sense of “Keep it simple and smart”. Another way of getting to the heart of things.

Well, and we’ve decided to dedicate an entire issue to the matter, along with all the extremes and other hazards. As simple as that.




The musician: James Bay.
The photographer: Bryan Adams.

The » Rolling Stone « once celebrated James Bay for reviving singer-songwriter traditions, in our conversation the British musician confirmed also his preference for simple music. Already beforehand, we thought that it would be ideal if Bryan Adams were to photograph him. Bryan thought so, too.

The happy George Clooney

He is one of Hollywood's biggest stars, partly because the 60-year-old has a rare blend of coolness and self-irony. What also makes him special are the rules he lives by. One is called: Be grateful, it was just luck. An interview.

Credit: Sam Jones / Trunk Archive




The One and Only: Tom Ford

The glamour and coolness of the 90s, plus the first luxury brand of the 21st century. We have Tom Ford to thank for all that. A tribute to the man who inspires us because he defined a wonderful sense of style with his claim.

Exclusive interview: Ewan McGregor

Some know the Scottish actor from the "Star Wars" films or as a passionate motorcyclist. But then there is the man to whom environmental protection is important and who therefore also appreciates the brand new ID. Buzz.

Credit: Ingo Barenschee für VW




How does Sir Paul Smith live?

In west London there is a house that was built in the middle of the 19th century, where the British designer Sir Paul Smith lives. And because there is no better place to get to know someone than at home, we met him right there.

Think better with Daniel Kahneman

If any classic is red-hot, it's »Thinking, Fast and Slow« by Daniel Kahneman. In an interview, the Nobel Prize winner described the blind spots in his own thinking with razor-sharp precision.

Credit: Daniel Kahnemann




Honest work in the De Tomaso Pantera

Driving a car in its purest form, with clutch and gearshift but without power steering and electronic driving aids? Yes, that still exists. In this car. And our author Kurt Molzer not only feels it first-hand, but also writes about it.

Completely complex: Christian Ankowitsch

Christian Ankowitsch wrote the book »The Art Of Simple Solutions,« so we gave him a quick call. The conversation with him turned out to be more complicated than expected, but as entertaining as suspected.

Credit: Josef Fischnaller




Clear announcement: Quentin Tarantino

The director has already become a legend in his own lifetime, yet his career is based on simple principles, as the 59-year-old explained to us in an interview. They are: Trust, knowledge and will.

Simply consistent: Ana de Armas

In conversation, the actress (who most recently upstaged Daniel Craig as a Bond girl) told us that she still likes to run barefoot, and sharp stones don't stop her from reaching her destination. We thought: That describes the Cuban-born actress very accurately.

Credit: Thomas Whiteside / Trunk Archive




Peter Garrett shows attitude

The hit »Beds Are Burning« by Midnight Oil is still in the ears of many, but not everyone knows that: The frontman of the Australian rock band studied law and was also a minister in the Australian government.



+++ +++ Also in rampstyle#24: A conversation with Yannick Michot, Managing Director of Patek Phillipe Germany. Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS: Everything the other way round and therefore spot on. Mark Aurelius and the cyborg dolphin: a late-night interview with writer and psychiatrist Tade Thompson. Seventeen Factor Authentication: Exhilarating stuff by Horst Evers. The stuff of power: Lutz Fügener on supposed control, risks and side effects. +++


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