The Emperor's New Clothes

Good Design is very important to me, whether at work designing functional, attractive homes or in my home life, in everything around me. My choice to include things in my life is governed by their qualities of design, simplicity and elegance. These are not just throw away words, they're real qualities that help bring me peace in an otherwise complicated and messy world.

As each year passes, technology plays a larger role in my day to day life and nothing is more complicated and messy than technology. About ten years ago, I bought my first Apple computer. Then as the company expanded it's product line, more Apple products crept into my life. I bought them because Apple holds these qualities in even higher esteem than me. Their products are a joy to use and I still marvel at how effortlessly the company appears to simplify the complicated.

There is a funny thing about good design though, while it can be hugely important to some people, it can go completely unnoticed by others. To these "design blind"people, words like design, simplicity and elegance are nothing more than that, words. They look at Apple computers and phones and see no difference to Windows PCs or Android phones and because there is "clearly" no difference, then the people who enjoy Apple's meticulous approach to design must be "fanatics" or "fan boys" (I refuse to spell boy with an "i").

This divide is only the beginning though. The years continue to pass and as my attention to good design becomes more common place in my life, I don't want to say that it's taken for granted, but it certainly becomes the norm rather than the extraordinary. This psychological shift means that what used to seem ordinary to me no longer only appears un-refined, but revolting and hideously frustrating. And the divide continues to grow.

Unlike the story of the Emperor's new clothes, this is not a trick, it is not meant to make you feel stupid for not seeing it. Likewise, it doesn't make me any smarter. To quote Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold "I'm that dog who saw a rainbow, only none of the other dogs believed me".