The Simplicity Event
Last week Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken attended the Philips Simplicity Event in London. It was a mixture of a vision presentation, a prototype exhibition, a networking event, and a marketing opportunity. The prototypes on show were conceptual designs for social care environments five years into the future. Developed by Philips Design, they represent the direction of the company’s thinking for future product development.

Everything was driven by a vision worded by Stefano Marzano, CEO of Philips Design, as follows: “There is no good design that is not based on the understanding of people”.

From the Philips press release:

“At the three-day event, Philips [showcased] to a select group of customers, business partners, healthcare professionals and public sector representatives its vision of how in five years the clever use of technology married with intuitive, personalized design can lead to unexpected approaches to caring for people’s well-being at home, in the hospital and on the move.

Philips approaches caring for people’s wellness from three perspectives – caring for guests, caring for families and caring for patients – a focus that reflects Philips drive and commitment to creating concepts and products that are designed around people. [...]

The theme at the 2007 Simplicity Event of “caring for people’s well-being” builds on ongoing societal trends that Philips has been tracking closely: populations are getting older, healthcare is increasingly consumer-driven and business travel is now more extensive and hectic. In light of these trends, Philips employed the creativity and expertise of anthropologists, sociologists, designers, engineers and business leaders to come up with design concepts that address these converging trends. The result: concepts that take a holistic approach to healthcare, in which health and wellbeing touch on all aspects of a person’s daily life. Focusing on relaxing, healing and providing enjoyment, design concepts at the show explore the role of simplicity in Philips three core businesses – healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle.”

Design concepts were demonstrated in “real-life” scenarios. One trend Philips is exploring is the growing prevalence for couples to start families later in life. In the “Celebrating Pregnancy” design concept, Philips showcased how through advanced technology and a creative approach to design, prospective parents can experience “the wonder of a view inside the womb”.

Ambient Healing Space“, offering patients the ability to make their hospital stay more comfortable while allowing hospital staff a method of involving patients in their own care and “Daylight“, a hotel scenario suggesting that travel to different time
zones can be refreshing rather than exhausting.

- Press release | Background information
More information about the concept collection
– Press release: Philips introduces simplicity to the hotel experience
– Videos: Simplicity Event | The Making Of | Megawhat.TV coverage

Several other sites have written about the London event, including AV Review, Design Taxi, Engadget, Geeks Are Sexy, I4U News, Pocket Lint (Wellness concepts, Hospital concepts, Daylight window, and Megawhat live), Tech.co.uk, and Trusted Reviews (Part One, Part Two, Showcase)

Some older concepts can be seen on the Simplicity Event website.