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Do we need more and more?

What about »less is more«?

Astute nonsense is the meaning of the oxymoron, just as »less is more« is one. A short excursion with a guy in a barrel, an author, designers and tools.

Let’s go back to 400 BC with the oldest and best-known „lesser type“, Diogenes. Coming from a rich family himself, homeless so to speak, and living in a barrel from time to time, Diogenes is said to have told Alexander the Great, who promised to fulfill his every wish, that he should just move a little as he was blocking his sun. Diogenes believed that happiness could not be achieved through possessions and wealth, and that they even stood in the way of it. An excellent starting point for a philosophical discourse on whether doing without makes you happy.

More than 2300 years later, the American Henry David Thoreau is convinced that simplification is the key to finding oneself and the nature that surrounds us. In a self-experiment in 1845, in a log cabin on a secluded forest lake, he went without his usual luxury for two years and learnt to adapt to more modest circumstances in a self-sufficient way. So just „simplify“?

A good hundred years later, in an even more materialistic world, the now popular oxymoron of „less is more“ has evolved, which we see realised above all in the creative sector. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe formulated „Less is more“ to sum up his view of architecture: Clear, plain, and simple stylistic idiom. For him, perfection was not achieved when nothing more could be added, but when nothing more could be left out.

Another one of the representatives of „less” was Dieter Rams, probably the world‘s most famous German designer. He explained his idea of „responsible design“ in a groundbreaking speech in New York in 1976. Even back then, he pointed out the „increasing and irreversible scarcity of natural resources“ and demanded that all designers – and ultimately all of us –act responsibly with regard to the environment. Waste was a horror to him, and he repeatedly asked the question of how you can survive with finite resources if you just throw everything away. He was aware that he, the product designer, was making a significant contribution to shaping this world. So he asked himself when design is good design, and formulated these 10 theses for this purpose:

Good design
1. is innovative
2. makes a product usable
3. is aesthetic
4. makes a product comprehensible
5. is unobtrusive
6. is honest
7. is durable
8. is consistent down to the last detail
9. is environmentally friendly
10. has as little design as possible

If you take a closer look, do you see these theses implemented in everyday products in the industrial and consumer goods world? Is there one thesis that would be more important to you than others? If so, which one? Just think about it.
We have done the same, and used the 10 theses as a benchmark for our AVANTEC tools. You will not be surprised to find our products represented in all 10 points. Even the aesthetic aspect is perfectly acceptable for technology enthusiasts and form-follows-function fans. Environmentally friendly? We implement this with a high metal removal rate. Consistent in detail? We demonstrate this with a high level of process reliability. Durable? We prove this with long life distance. Innovative? We have been setting benchmarks with our high-positive milling cutters for over 30 years.

For us, „less is more“ is the right basic attitude. Knowing which solution and which tool we can use to implement this 1:1 for you is the trick.

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Customer magazine GO No. 15 download | PDF