Monday, 6 August 2012

Complexity vs. Simplicity

What are you attracted to: Complex designs or Simple designs? Cliches abound: "simple yet effective" ; "attention to detail" and so on. Choosing a design you like probably originates from the pleasure centre of your brain. Are our pleasure centres prescriptive and uncompromising? No; very flexible in fact.

Well, mine is, anyway. I like complex, 'attention to detail' designs. However, a "simple" solitaire gemstone ring has equal appeal. But in my case the complexity is likely to be in the sparkle of the gem, where the complexity was created by the gem cutter!

Many designs are based on aesthetic appeal, level of complexity, and functionality. Complexity is sometimes a technical challenge for the designer. Consider an intricate gold filigree necklace interspersed with 30 different gemstones, that are complemented by the luxurious gold lustre, designed to impress.  The achievement of such a successful technical capability boosts the designer's endorphins, and so the designer is mentally happy. The transfer of the designer's own pleasure will be transferred to that of the potential customer who firstly appreciates the design, then desires it, and ultimately buys it. Has anyone done an MRI survey of pleasure centres of the brain? Would the designer and the appreciator have similar indicators? 

What is Simplicity, then? Or should the question rather be: how complex is Simplicity? By trying avoid further verbose overindulgence, I will clarify. There is likely to be a complex thought process before the Simple design is complete, as with the Complex design. A pendant featuring a "simple" highly polished oval silver ring with a high lustre pearl suspended on it's inner ring. Simple to design and make? Not necessarily, but less so than the filigree necklace. This design may be classed as "simple, yet effective". 

Complexity or Simplicity of the detail involved in any design has the same value of meaning. The value comes from your innate pleasure centre. The perception, however is different. 

What do you like in a design? Complexity, or Simplicity? 

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