Enormous steps 
forward have certainly been made, yet a recent exhibition at the Triennale in Milan, featuring the work of Italian design studio DeepDesign, demonstrates how a lot more can be accomplished through design thinking.

If simplicity is what design aspires to, inspiration should come from nature, says Raffaella Mangiarotti (of DeepDesign, partnered with Matteo Bazzicalupo). “Formal organicism and functional complexity are combined spontaneously in the world around us without redundancy or aesthetic rigidity, in a pure economy of form.”

By observing flowers – the delicate yet solid forms, the simple beauty and capacity to sway with the wind – the duo has developed two lamps. Bluebells consists of a solid base that holds three flexible stems covered in nautical stocking.

The tops have lights covered with shades in heat-moulded opalescent sandblasted polyethylene, and with a sleeve that clusters the stems and moves up and down, the position of the lights changes in virtually infinite ways and also waves in the wind if the lamp is placed outdoors.

The other lamp, Dandelion, produced by Tecnodelta, follows a similar approach, comprising a bunch of transparent flutes with high-efficiency LEDs waving onto a slender stem of polycarbonate.

While it may seem easy to innovate in terms of function and aesthetics in lighting by adding a poetic natural touch, a lot more can certainly be achieved by observing daily human tasks.

For example, considering the awkward position that hairstylists are forced to hold while blowdrying, the development of an L-shaped dryer concept was born: lighter and more ergonomic, it does not require a 90-degree torsion of the wrist, which is a major cause of RSI issues.

Similarly, the uterus-inspired washing system conceived for Whirlpool cleans clothes through a slow movement, similar to that of human hands, thoroughly avoiding drastic spinning.

How much more can a creative, authentically curious perspective add in terms of innovation in comparison to a rational, quantitative and marketing-driven approach to product development? DeepDesign’s work presents us with an answer to this question.  

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