There is always an effort to humanize our technology. Technology’s most raw forms typically start with harsh geometries and cold, precise materials as a result of the production process. Much of the function of the design industry as a whole is countering the harshness of tech: softening, inviting, comforting, empowering the end users. A design trend has emerged in recent years that coalesces around this intent to humanize: Organelle. Whether a device is high-tech or low-tech, the Organelle trend uses soft, fluid, organic sculpting to echo natural forms: biological joints, pebble-like smoothness, open cellular voids. This creates echoes of actual living forms, organs, and bones. The key features here are the softened smooth surfaces, and huge curvature-continuous fillets between form transitions. Pairing with Minimalism, Chromatic Accents, and matte or gloss white shifts this technique from being a surfacing element to being a holistic thematic style. Think of Organelle as: “Ross Lovegrove battles Karim Rashid, with the occasional shout from Marc Newson and Luigi Colani…”

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3 Comments to “ORGANELLE”

  1. jWLA says:

    One thing that’s cool about this potentially tired trend (see: blobjects from the early 90’s) is the advancement in surfacing software and rapid prototyping that has breathed new life into the sweeping organic forms. Some of these things could not have been designed, let alone built- 10 years ago.

    • AWOLtrends says:

      Good points, jWLA: the capacity to even build these forms years ago was limited by what could be tooled efficiently. Now that everything in production is computer-controlled, fluid forms like these are very achievable. Of course there are always certain materials that naturally create this type of geometry: stretched fabrics and ceramics/glass, for example…or snakes swallowing whole eggs…
      -AWOL Trends

  2. cormac says:

    Products with this language are very approachable and yearn to be interacted with. It is interesting when it is applied to a product that tends to be technical and tubular like a bicycle. It creates a unique character indeed.