Thursday, April 25, 2013

Form Follows Function

The phrase was apparently inspired by Louis Sullivan:
It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law.
This, by the way, is one of the reasons IWU not only didn't die in the 80s but has thrived immensely ever since.  The decision was made to create the Adult and Professional Studies wing of the university as a separate entity with its own rules and faculty.  It probably would have been DOA if they had tried to incorporate it within the then existing structures and systems of the university.

The bottom line is you design things in order for them to do what they do, also following the principle of the famous paraphrase of Einstein, "Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler."  This is doing things the right way. Pretty only counts if it's effective.


Angie Van De Merwe said...

Utility is not the only rationale for life and living, although it is a good way to protect financial concerns.

Functions serve purposes, but form reveals innate characteristics. In this sense, "form does not follow function". I think it deadly to define function as the "end all" evaluation of "life", though it is practical and pragmatic, it might just as well be oppressive and coercive, too.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Whenever we have pruposed purposes, then, we have to ask, "how do we arrive at our goals"? What guidelines guard and determine "outcomes"? Outcomes might be goals, or values, but those that promote or have similar views/visions might collaborate together to make for attaining goals. I do not believe all goals are equal, because some goals might justify means that are harmful. Just what is considered harmful and what means are to be justified to deter harm?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

America values liberty and individual rights, because we believe that it is harmful to conform or demand the individual to comply when it comes to preferences.....

Ken Schenck said...

Even art has a function--to please the eye of the beholder :-)