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"Form should follow function"
2

"Form should follow function"

"Form should follow function"

(OP)
"Form should follow function"

I have heard this for years. Anyone know who originated the phrase?

RE: "Form should follow function"

I think it was me, trying to talk some sense into our former owner.   

RE: "Form should follow function"

MintJulep,

   The Wikipedia article was very interesting.

   I followed the link on Victor Papanek, because I have read a couple of his books.  In one of books, he discussed his $9 TV set.  There were all sorts of explanations on how some third world type could build the cabinet of the TV using locally availble materials.  No where did he explain how these natives were going to build the tube.  

   In one of his books, he did make a cute, smart-ass remark about tables that made you want to lie down on them and have your appendix taken out.   

               JHG

RE: "Form should follow function"

In my first semester of General Engineering (Frosh year) at the UW back in 1966, I remember seeing a poster with that saying on the bottom.  

The image was permanently burned into my brain - not the saying, just the image - of a babe in a bikini.  Engineering has not been the same since.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

RE: "Form should follow function"

Form and function equals Ducati.  And no, I don't work for them.  Porsche aren't bad.  Ferrari a bit to the form side.

- Steve

RE: "Form should follow function"

It's what separates engineers from the architects. The rare engineer will include compelling details that work into the functions as well as esthetics.

DB Steinman, eminent bridge designer and builder, had signature details that were unmistakable. He combined the stiffening truss into the suspension on a number of bridges.

RE: "Form should follow function"

The function of a product is to generate profit.  Poor sales resulting from poor form means a failed product.

RE: "Form should follow function"

Engineers function = make Architect's form work

I would say Lotus is pretty function.

CDG, Civil Engineering specializing in Hillside Grading in the Los Angeles area
http://www.CivilDevelopmentGroup.com

RE: "Form should follow function"

If I remember correctly, it was Frank Lloyd Wright.

RE: "Form should follow function"

It's a bit utilitarian though isn't it? I'd rather work to "form should not inhibit function".

I imagine the egotist who put this up liked fff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues_Point_Tower

 

Cheers

Greg Locock

I rarely exceed 1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight

RE: "Form should follow function"

(OP)
Greg, My daughter attended the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, Norfolk, UK; and I made a trip over to visit, and do a bit of sightseeing. Norwich is a town of old, Medieval churches & buildings, and I was surprised to the University buildings to be so block like, & utilitarian looking. I understand you can't rebuild Oxford, but UEA looks out of place among all the Gothic stuff. But I suppose form IS following function.

RE: "Form should follow function"

Modern university buildings in the UK tend to be brutalist in style, I don't know why.   

Cheers

Greg Locock

I rarely exceed 1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight

RE: "Form should follow function"

Quote:

Modern university buildings in the UK tend to be brutalist in style, I don't know why.

Probably because they are cheaper to build than proper buildings even though they they won't last as long!

RE: "Form should follow function"

Though sometimes, just sometimes, they play around on them.  The Lancaster Mechanical Engineering building in Southampton is an example of the 'brutalist' building style.  The main Lecture hall protrudes out the side of the building.  Supposedly originally it was cantilevered out.  For some reason (excess deflection when loaded with eager engineering students being the most often posited as I recall) pillars were added about a third of the way out at some point.

As to the OP, a bit like "if it looks right it'll fly right" and yet there have been some very effective aircraft of questionable aesthetic appeal, and some very pretty failures.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
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RE: "Form should follow function"

... all those alleged aerodynamic cars of the past with their pointy front ends - to "cut through the air".  They looked cool, but weren't anywhere near Mach 1.

- Steve

RE: "Form should follow function"

Only a very small part of a car's function is aerodynamics. A large part is carrying a given number of passengers and cargo comfortably, so a VW Microbus is a much better example of fff than a sleek coupe.

Maybe?
 

Cheers

Greg Locock

I rarely exceed 1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight

RE: "Form should follow function"

The architect Louis Sullivan originated the phrase "Form follows function".

RE: "Form should follow function"

courtesy of WIKI -- "American architect Louis Sullivan who coined the phrase..."

RE: "Form should follow function"

Hmm, it's rubbish for architecture (what is the function for a building?) and it is rubbish for cars. It might work for bayonets and cuckoo clocks. But probably not.

Perhaps it works for competition gliders.

 

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: "Form should follow function"

I think you must be right Greg,
All of today's competition gliders/sailplanes look like they were stamped out with the same cookie cutter.
B.E.

RE: "Form should follow function"

Berkshire, I think that's a case where performance concerns triumph aesthetic concerns by a long margin.

Once aesthetic or similar concerns come seriously into play, even if just in the sub conscious of those designing it, than the form may drift from the function.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: "Form should follow function"

Kenat,
 I think this is a case, where computers driven by Wortman, Eppler, and Ronz have taken the individualism out of the design, and customers will not accept the latest offerings from the manufacturers unless, the performance is at least a fraction of a gnat's anatomy better than the last offering.
  Mind you, they do look graceful.
B.E.

RE: "Form should follow function"

Ducati fff ? Maybe once upon a time.

RE: "Form should follow function"

Greg- a lot of the brutalist academic building in teh UK stem from the large expansion in further education in the uk in the 1960's.  A lot of the new universities wanted bold statement architecture, so they hired 'name' architects.  And in the 1960's concrete brutalism was the hot fashion in archtecture, so they all got concrete brutalist buildings.. if they buildings had been commissioned in the noughties they would be inside out Foster designs or something.

UEA's ziggurats are famous.....partly for nearly falling down (like the infamous Ronan Point collapse).

RE: "Form should follow function"

I believe the cladding fell off the Glasgow college of building...

RE: "Form should follow function"

I also remember the cladding falling off Plymouth Poly back in the 80's.

- Steve

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