The Pencil

There is an old joke, or urban myth if you look at it another way, that goes something like this:

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface, and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 degrees Celsius.

The Russians used a pencil.

Although this joke is not factually correct, the punchline still resonates. There is something to be said about a simple and elegant solution versus a bloated and complicated one. And thus the impetus for creating this blog: to harbor a space where simplicity in design can be commended and celebrated.

The primary goal of this blog is to serve as a source of inspiration to designers, architects, engineers, programmers, or anyone, really. If you have found something that is a perfect example of simplicity in design and would like to see it posted, please don’t hesitate to send it my way.

One final note: I think space pens are awesome. This is not about anti-gadgetry, but rather, a place to delight in the beauty of a simple design solution.

November 9, 2009 / 156 notes

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