Simply beautiful? Beautifully simple!

A design icon needs as little design as possible. It also needs a philosophy that focuses not only on aesthetics but also on user-friendliness and innovation. Then, in the best case, it will be simply beautiful - a true classic. On the occasion of National Simplicity Day, we present five absolute design icon.
Text Lutz Fügener
Photo WE! shoot it

Braun T1000 shortwave receiver by Dieter Rams. Visions that became reality don’t appear so spectacular anymore these days. Which is completely unfair. Dieter Rams freed an entire generation of electronic devices from their datability. So much so that they’d be completely inconspicuous on the shelves of an electronics store today.

Afri-Cola bottle by Jupp Ernst. Functionality and aesthetics in a playful symbiosis – designed as a challenge to the omnipresent and all-powerful model and competitor Coca-Cola. Crowned by a design that can easily keep up with the American top dog in terms of timelessness and recognisability.

Leica M10 compact camera. The Leica M10 easily shakes off the retro label. There simply is no better way to exemplify the difference between modern and modish. The camera body, with a size and shape designed to fit the 35 mm roll of film, has long freed itself from the old technology thanks to its ergonomic qualities.

First iPod by Jonathan Ive, a declared admirer of the work of Dieter Rams
Its form no longer has to follow function – it is pure interface. The original iPod is an example of an entire category of products. New. Young. And speaking of young: Ive’s design only ages with regard to the rapid progress of display technologies.

Plastic Chair by Charles and Ray Eames. An early attempt with a new material - and a direct hit: the Eames couple succeeded in creating an outstanding piece of seating furniture, completely independent of time and place. The term design classic is almost too retrospective here - the design is so timeless, it could have been created only yesterday.


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