terça-feira, 5 de maio de 2009

Why Should Designers Forget About "Form Follows Function" - Or, At Least, Try

1. First of all, because it never worked like that. Surprised? Hope not. Assuming this motto is the same that affirming that the egg came first. Or the chicken. Or the reptile. Why doesn't function follows form? It happens so many times: look at Starck's work - he starts with a form, an after decides what is it for (or at least he says so). Thus, the motto is unilateral. Bummer.

2. Most of the design work appears to be a product of problems and limitations, not pure intent or purpose. Form follows trouble? Form follows the need to escape from trouble?

3. Design is a really young métier. Well, in fact, the motto form follows function appeared as an attempt to assassinate the aesthetic options of 19th century's revivalism and eclecticism, in order to validate the Modernist Epoch, to dazzle people with the idea that it was necessary to evolution. Worst, designers and architects embraced this in order to validate what they were doing. This is rather ugly: bad product, lovely package.

4. It's an idea with 4000 years, based on a thought framework that might frighten you. It's relative to Plato's Theory of Forms: that there is a higher concept of things, thus things as we see it are illusory. According to this, whenever I think of chair, I think on the higher concept of chair, not actual chairs. Well, we now believe (and probably prove) that we think on an abstract concept of chair because we saw millions of chairs. Watch kids asking what's that?, it's enlightening.

5. It makes you dull. Do you want to find how to do a thing and repeat the same process every day, believing that there is no way to improve it? Why do we insist that we have to find the way, without letting us build that path with the richness of error?

6. It's irresponsible. True. If things go wrong, it's the clients problem, not yours. You are doing always the right thing and always the right way, right? You have the magic key, the magic process! You possess the higher concept of chair! You do, don't you? Hey, there?

7. It's totalitarian. Now your being rude. Well, am I? Ever heard of International Style? Futurists? Did you ever noticed that biggest period of totalitarianism was a product of the Modern Epoch and during this same one? The there is only one way thought killed millions of jews, other millions in Russia an China with the Communist Revolution. Shame on form follows function!

8. Finally, it's unpersonal. You have more to give, kid. Try it yourself.