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Do the hard work needed to find a simple solution. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”—and it is the key to this type of design work.
What a philosophical subject this can be.... Simplicity vs Complexity. A lot of questions could be asked and questions always need be asked first before you can come up with solutions.
What stands out for me, is how we as a people approach things in life that are thrown at us. Everything we KNOW affects how we react to what is thrown at us. Simple right? I believe so, but theres plenty of complexity involved to getting to that point where something specific is tossed our way. Simplicity vs Complexity is not just whats in front of you physically, but a state of mind as well. How we look at things(our state of mind) is truly affected by knowledge. The more you know, the easier is it to come up with first questions, then answers, and then finally solutions.
Simple solutions arent always the easiest. What seems like a simple solution for problem for me might not be a simple solution for a person living a different culture and country. Once again, the more we know the better. We must gain more knowledge, study, ask questions, talk to people, design a plan, find issues, test something out....(if it doesnt work start again)...to find a simple solution to someone else's problem. Sound complex and hard? Sure, but if you only already knew all this possible information then it would be simple. Simple solutions for what is needed, not what is wanted.
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That being said, you end by mentioning that more information would render solution-finding simpler. On that point I have to disagree. We often cloud our judgement with too much information; American psychologist Barry Schwartz and Canadian Pop Sociologist Malcolm Gladwell both devote some attention to this phenomenon in their books "The Paradox of Choice" and "Blink", respectively. Faced with too many choices and too many pieces of information, it's easy to overlook what's really important and base our solutions on less important pieces of the puzzle. This is not to say that we show walk blindly into problem, certainly we need some level of big-picture understanding. But finding that balance that gives us the maximum necessary information to develop solutions, that's the hard part - in my opinion.
".....more information would render solution-finding." These words completely support "finding a simple solution" IS (yes) the hard part...but in the end the solution needs to be simple(not just simple to put together, but simple for (per say) the person in need of a solution).
Sure...Schwartz and Gladwell make a valid point about too many choices and too much information, but their thinking comes with "cans, ifs, whens, & maybes." While valid, their thinking is very blanketing. The issue wouldnt be whether too many choices and/or too much information is available......its whether a person, a family, a city, etc..... can process all that information. An intregral part in finding the simple solution is having the best possible people to process that information.
An example : I'm pretty creative when it comes to building things. I've helped build shelter sheds for animals, tools sheds, framing inside a home, some drywalling, a little roofing, and other construction(on a very small level for some of these). Do I feel as though I could build a small home? yes.... But let me tell you...I'd have A LOT to learn and the research I'd have to do would be a massive undertaking as well as the project itself. The only way I'd be able to deal with the information and choices, would be to make sure I have the right support group helping me understand this information....be it family, experienced architects, contractors, friends and so forth.
I do however disagree with a statement of "one can have too many choices and too much information." A person can NEVER have too much information available to them. (period)
Theres sooooo much more explaining behind Schwartz's and Gladwell's thinking. I'm willing to agree with that statement if there are...ifs, depending on, whens....after it.