According to architect Tan Chee Kiang, architecture is a complex art, dealing with all sorts of complexities such as programmatic requirements, environmental conditions, contextual responses, regulations and by-laws. Hence, in this age of complexity, one of the challenges of architecture is to keep things as simple as possible.
But it is not that simple to attain simplicity; to simplify, you have to reduce, but you need to know the essence before you can reduce down to it.
In his book Simplicity, Edward de Bono said ‘You have to want to look for simplicity. You have to be motivated to design simplicity'. Simplicity is not a substitute for complexity; it is a goal, the outcome of complexity. Because of complexity, we strive for simplicity.
Simplicity is a design strategy that synthesizes and fits into everything. It is about achieving more with less. It is about striving for an elegant solution that is as simple as possible - an architecture that is able to give order, clarity and unity through the use of space, structure and material.