Friday, March 23, 2012

The Beauty of Complexity

Recently I saw this video and could not help but marvel at the sheer, breathtakingly intricate coolness of it, while simultaneously gasping at the unneeded complexity of this machine.  It makes me think of all of the things we do and create in our personal and professional lives because we humans get so easily caught up in the beauty of complexity. Complex systems can be gorgeous and the ones you help create and manage can make you feel impossibly smart and artistic.

The question is - how many times do we over-complicate things?  What coolness could we devise both at work and at home if we knew how to to choose between simplicity for the sake of function and complexity for the sake of art?  Can we use processes born out of simplification or complication to spark creative or innovative ideas?

I tend to default to simplicity having most of the best answers for coping with our contemporary world.  But I have to recognize that both simplicity and complexity have the potential to add or detract from our quality of life. I guess the trick is knowing which is most appropriate in any given situation.

Here is the link to the video for those of you who can't see the embedded code.


  1. I've always admired designers who can articulate and exemplify the art of subtraction, the power in gradually removing things until only the necessary essence of a design, a product, a concept remains. Not a single thing more. Maybe we need to add questions to our project planning meetings: What could we easily remove without diminishing the value of this program? How could we simplify this in a way people would value?

  2. Jeffrey -

    Absolutely, I am with you 100%. Thanks for stopping by! :D


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