Simpo-Therapy is the idea of using simple but eﬀective design to help change the way someone feels or fix a problem in society. As the name suggests Simpo-Therapy is a combination of “design for simplicity” and “design for therapy”. “Design for simplicity” being the idea of something being designed to do exactly what is needed, with out the need for further bells and whistles, such as something that has one use or something that is visually or ergonomically pleasing. Where as “design for therapy” is the idea of designing something to eﬀect the way someone feels or is eﬀected by a space or object.
This idea is best known in the world of architecture where the use of light, form, texture and colour are used to create a feeling in a room, place or building. this idea can be transferred into the world of industrial design where it can be used to combat the way technology has started to dictate peoples lives, people don’t go anywhere without there phone, people are focused on what others are doing and not what they are doing.
To use Simpo-therapy in a design a designer can start by looking at problem parts of society where design can be used to help fix these issues, through simplification and design therapy, then thinking about how this problem eﬀects people and the solution that the designer would want to achieve.
This design tactic is important to me as the humanities trend towards a world dominated by the internet and peoples lives online seems to only lead to a dystopian world like that written about George Orwell in 1984 or Ernest Cline in ready player one. To combat this people need to remove them selves from the complete visual control of the internet and return to living by experiencing not seeing some else do it. Simpo-Therapy allows for designers to take back the outside world creating devices, buildings, places and installations that bring peoples back into the real world and really feel. I myself am a slave to the internet just like most people, i look at my phone on road trips, i feel like I’m missing something when i don’t have my phone in my pocket and i don’t think i go a waking hour without looking at my phone, but i hope through Simpo-Therapy i can design to change this.
In conclusion Simpo-Therapy is designing with the idea of making people interact with the world around them and feel things not just through a screen, but through there own experiences.
A lot of power is crudely sourced and used as a blanket resource with no consideration for waste. We see lights left on in building when no occupants remain, people using escalators and lifts as the norm as opposed to when they may have an injury or disability. We want to correlate human input to power usage by creating fun interactive landscapes that people can enjoy without altering their day to day routines.
The Laws of Simplicity is a 100-page book I wrote just as the Apple iPod was starting to take off and while I was earning my MBA as a kind of “hobby.” LOS has been translated into more than 14 different languages — and has now been around for over a decade. I never finished the sequel to LOS, but I wrote a short book on design, tech, and leadership as a form of therapy, entitled Redesigning Leadership.—John Maeda
The “Light Phone” is a example of Simpo-Therapy at its finest, the designers of the light phone saw a problem with how the world was using there smart phones, with high percentages of phone addiction leading to ghost vibrations and a removal from the real world due to unneeded features and over exposer to social media, to combat this the designers at Light Phone took away all the unneeded features of a phone and pared it back to just that a phone, the idea being that the light phone would allow someone to take time oﬀ there smart phone piggybacking oﬀ the phone number on there phone allowing someone to go out and not worry about missing a call but with out the distraction of a smart phone.
The “Project for Public spaces” is a organisation that uses a similar idea to Simpo-Therapy as a way to design public spaces that allow people to interact with the world around them and not just travel through it. the project is broken into multiple parts such as “A Global Place Making Movement” which focuses on making market places in places that people travel through as a way to bring experience to peoples commutes, these ideas are brought into all of “Project for Public spaces” designs into public areas.
The “USB Pet Rock” is the reinvention of a experiment done by Gary Dahl where he set out to take something that was so simple that it seemed stupid and market it in a way that could make him millions (which it did it started a global phenomenon for his product). how ever this time round the people who designed the USB pet rock designed it as a way to bring someones imagination to life, the USB plug meant that it looks like it like its more then just a rock and allows the user to make up its purpose or features that in truth it doesn’t have.