WOW Design: 2

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”  Milton Glaser

I compiled another assortment of Wow designs. Enjoy 🙂

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A thermostat. The Nest smart thermostat is a good example of technological simplicity…. The metal band that wraps around the device floats on the wall, and gives the scene a premium valued feel, but it also acts as a temperature adjuster. The inner black surrounding is glossy and rounds itself forward like the inner part of an eyeball. And once I reached the display, I realized that the quality of the product was not abandoned in the software itself. In fact, the simplistic caries on through the software. I’ve only used a thermostat a few times in my life, and while it may have been easy to change the temperature, it has always been difficult to know the current temperature. With the Nest’s interface, it is near intuitive to see that the person has set the device to 72 degrees, and it will reach that temperature in twenty minutes. Its a beautiful take on a common piece of technology, and more often than not, when someone beautifies a poorly designed product category– the initial efforts are super impressive.

Design and constraints are opposing things. This young designer clearly took that notion to heart. His idea to build a modular chair that could be packed up like a modular bookbag is genius. It may not be to you, but it is to me because it just so happens that his product is a visual masterpiece. The backpack form is useless by itself, and he would definitely get strange looks for walking around with the wood around his back, but he cleverly dispels all judgement once he takes it all apart and builds it all up in another form factor, or a ‘useful’ form factor. I love this design.

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Is it a sneaker? Is it a moccasin? is it a sandal? My guess is that it is a WhoCares. The design of this shoe, whether intentionally or not, breaks certain shoe barriers so to speak…. It asks, “What is a shoe?” and then it answers its own question. The beauty of this design is its functional design. Its designed to be incredible flexible for almost all areas of your warm weather life. This is a shoe I would feel comfortable in no matter what the day through at me, and that idea smacks you in the face right when you look at it. Wow!

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You may have thought this was a trumpet, but you were wrong. Its a paperclip and some ink. But… that doesn’t change the fact that it is a trumpet on paper, or is it a paper clip and ink on paper? The argument persists in my head, but all I cant think is, Wow. Simply Wow.

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The minimalism is so profound that I had a really hard time trying to determine whether or not it is a razor or a vacuum cleaner. But that really doesn’t matter. Its subtraction of all unessential details is so profound that I am left with something that shows little differentiation… and I like that. Pure glossy white, slight bend of a metal tube, grey piece of edged gum on the end…. does it ask for more complexity, perhaps… does the designer give it that? NO. Wow!

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