Form or Function?

Form or Function?

Well.  I think you have a decent grasp of classic designs now.  Here, I have a job for you to focus your attention on form and function.

I have 6 examples of classic designs from various disciplines: architecture; fashion; product; and industry.  I would like you to review these and post on your Portfolio a decision and a discussion about 4 of them.  For each item, decide what percentage of the design focused on form and what percentage focused on function.  Then write a short paragraph explaining why you feel this division is appropriate.

For example, with regard to the well-known Philipe Starck juicer, I might write something like this: "I would divide this into 5% function, 95% form.  Although Starck himself has said it was entirely a form-based product that was never intended to juice lemons, it clearly has a resemblance to the more mundane day-to-day juicer, so it does reflect a small amount of function.  Usage testing has shown it's not effective, however, so the influence of function is very small."

I haven't chosen anything as over-used as the Starck juicer for you, though, don't worry.  Have fun, dear!  Here are the examples:

    1. Burj al Arab
      Built on an artificial island 280 meters away from the coast, the Burj al Arab in Dubai is one of the most luxurious and the fourth tallest hotel in the world. It’s 321 meters high and it represents one of the wonders of contemporary engineering. The building is designed by Tom Wright of WKK architects and its shape emulates shape of the sail of a ship.
    2. Escalator
      Initially, the escalator was introduced as an "experience" for which people would pay to go up and down (Coney Island, New York and at the Exposition Universalle in Paris, 1900).  "When it was applied to our architecture it made our world animated and alive for the first time," says Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde.
    3. Bialetti coffee pot
      The Bialetti Moka celebrates more than 80 years of classic design elegance and technological simplicity. From the early 1950s to the present day, Bialetti has manufactured over 200 million coffee makers. In particular, the Moka Express has become iconic and has allowed millions of consumers to enjoy great Italian coffee.
      The Moka produces a rich, authentic espresso in just minutes. The aluminum pot features Bialetti’s distinctive eight-sided shape that allows it to diffuse heat perfectly to enhance the aroma of your coffee.
    4. Sedia Universale
      The Italian designer Joe Colombo died of heart failure in 1971, the day after his 41st birthday. Despite his early death, and having originally trained as a painter, he left an extraordinary series of designs. The Sedia Universale, or Universal Chair, is just one of many groundbreaking pieces of work.Jazz, cars, smoking, skiing and how life might be lived in the future were among Colombo’s primary concerns. He had no interest in the reinvention of existing archetypes, only in new ideas. Among these was an obsession to make a chair in just one material. First he tried aluminium, then ABS, and, finally, and successfully, injection-moulded polypropylene. He made it adjustable and its unscrewable legs came in three lengths, so it could be used as a children’s chair, dining chair or bar stool. It was easy to clean, stackable and easy to move — the hole in its back functioning as a handle. Its development took two years from 1965 to 1967.The Universale is emblematic of the optimism in Italy during the 1960s, as is all the designer’s work, with its strong colours, curving edges and pop sensibility. The future, Colombo believed, was one where television would rule, technological progress would mean people increasingly worked and played in their homes, and expanding populations would live in smaller living spaces.
    5. MT 8 table lampThis MT 8 table lamp with a hemispherical glass globe was designed by Bauhaus students Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900-1990) and Karl Jacob Jucker (1902-1997). It was of chrome-plated metal and 16 3/4 inches high. It was probably exhibited at the first full-scale exhibition of the Bauhaus held in Weimar, during two weeks in August. It is evidence of the new design philosophy of László Moholy-Nagy who had just taken over the metal shops, and who pointed the school to a more severe and simple style, with common manufacturing materials, and a focus on mass production. The lamp was manufactured in Dessau, Germany, an early example of student designs that were mass-produced.

Done already?  For the mastery level here, I'd like you to take your own IA down the same road you just traveled with those classics.  Look at it from an outside perspective and determine what percentage of your design is devoted to form and what to function.

Then write about why that developed.  Here, because you are the designer, you can tell a more detailed story about how the product evolved as you've ideated, modeled, revised, and polished your design.  What influences lead to choices that reflected more function?  Which lead to more form?  Are you happy with the current balance, or will you make more revisions before you turn in your final design for evaluation?

I expect this portion will take at least a couple paragraphs to fill out the story well.  You may write up to 4, but limit yourself to 500 words.  When you're done, please post the link here so I can read it.

Thank you, Visitor.  It's been a pleasure to have you in the museum.

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