I like this talk that Thomas Heatherwick does.
His work is well known and his Seed Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo received a lot of attention… but what strikes me and a lot of other people I guess, is that his ideas are based more or less on a simple concept: turning things inside out and/or looking at things in reverse.
Applying simple foundations or philosophies to your work is actually really hard. You’re naturally inclined to make things more detailed/complicated than they need to be especially if you feel the need to make every user/reader/client happy. But actually, having read about it a lot recently, it comes down to making things do one thing really really excellent rather than a lot of things very average. In this respect I admire Heatherwick’s decision (probably forced on him because of lack of funds!) to put nothing inside the pavilion. I always find there’s something nice about standing in vast empty design/exhibition stands. The space is the stuff that makes the work great. In a way it frames it and is just as important as the work itself.
PS I’ve read a lot about simplicity recently: including John Maeda’s Laws of Simplicity and Never Use White Type…on a Black Background. Both are excellent and makes you think… differently. Worth a look.