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Dead Simple, Drop-dead Gorgeous

While the technology behind rapid manufacturing is undoubtedly complex, the products that emerge can be profoundly simple. A design exhibition called New Simplicity, opening this Saturday in London, showcases functional everyday objects created in the emerging high-tech tradition, alongside classic pieces by designers like Jasper Morrison and Sam Hecht, which typify Modernist minimalism.

The show’s curator, Nuno Coelho, has captured what he considers to be the design spirit of the latter half of “The Noughties,” when economic uncertainty and environmental concerns pushed moderation and affordability to the fore, while digital tools transformed the experience of buying, owning and sharing stuff. “We are living in a world initially shaped by people who were born before the digital revolution,” Coelho says. “But a new generation of digital natives are forever radically changing the way we communicate, socialise, consume, design and produce artifacts.”

The eleven designers selected for the show, who range from the internationally celebrated to the relatively unknown, exist on both sides of the digital divide. Whatever their approaches, they share a common goal of paring design down to its most essential qualities.

Below is a selection of objects that will be on display at New Simplicity, and a short video created for the show.

Up top, a calculator by Alex Hulme.

Here, iPod/iPhone Cable Spindle, designed by Jochem Faudet (3D printed):

Also by Faudet, a dishrack and doubles as dish storage:

U Floor Standing Light, designed by Jon Harrison, Manufactured by Habitat:

Lunchbox, a prototype by Alex Hulme, which has a plate that snaps fast into the bowl, and serves as a lid:

A super-compact personal air conditioning system by Thomas Wagner:

Self Assembly Torch, designed by Alex Hulme (rapid manufactured):

Clamp-able Lamp, designed by Jon Harrison (rapid manufactured):