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Designed by Flavio Girolami and Peter Poopat
For Common Projects

The founding of Common Projects’ was inspired by the lines and shapes of everyday or “common” objects. It’s a brand known for their clean, minimalist aesthetic; best exemplified by their most iconic product, the Achilles.

For Girolami and Poopat, the mission in designing the Achilles was simple: to create the “perfect” sneakers. So deconstructing the sneaker naturally became their main focus until they succeeded in distilling the sneaker down to its essence, removing any flourishes and creating a low-top monochromatic shoe.

At this point, they realized that nothing more had to be done. They had achieved “perfect” by achieving “essential”. And the Achilles quickly became the iPhone of the sneaker world. …

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Designed by Dieter Rams
For Braun

The PA 1, predecessor and aesthetically identical to the PA 2, was a landmark product not only for its revolutionary design but also for launching the career of the most important industrial designer to ever live, Dieter Rams, a career that single-handedly defined modern industrial design.

Trained as an architect, Dieter Rams began work at Braun assigned exclusively to architectural projects but gradually became involved in product design. Within a year, in 1956, he had completed his first solo assignment, the PA 1 slide projector.

It was an instant success. In 1958, the PA 2 was one of the main attractions in the German pavilion at the Brussels World Fair, and it was soon added by the Museum of Modern Art to its permanent design collection. …

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Designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara
For Artek

Ilmari Tapiovaara once said, “A chair is not just a seat; it’s the key to the whole interior.” That sense of urgency for well-designed furniture in his statement could not have resonated more than in his most iconic work, the Kiki sofa.

It was 1960 when Tapiovaara set out to make well-designed furniture accessible to a broader audience — a constraint in design that has often yielded the most well designed products. To achieve this, he took a stark departure from the solid birch and organic shapes that dominated furniture design at the time.

His solution, the Kiki sofa, with its steel tubing and modular system, was revolutionary for its time. …

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Designed by Jony Ive
For Apple

The culmination of a fifteen-year refinement process, the Apple Magic Keyboard is a meditation on computer keyboards that has achieved enlightenment.

Its origins can be traced back to the 2000 Apple Pro Keyboard when Steve Jobs and Jony Ive decided to apply Dieter Rams’ principles of good design to their desktop product line. With a transparent enclosure and pure white keys, already their first version was well on its way to essentialism.

By the time the Magic Keyboard was released in 2015, the Apple design team had achieved a level of form and function that Jony Ive likes to call “inevitable.” There was nothing left to edit or improve. …


Omar El Amri

I write about good design on @amriblog.

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