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Can Form Follows Function Truly Exist?

March 26, 2014

Blog | Technology | Can Form Follows Function Truly Exist?
Can Form Follows Function Truly Exist?

In the early 20th century Louis Sullivan said “form ever follows function” when referring to a building he designed. This is a saying designers have lived by ever since. The premise behind the idea of “form follows function” is that everything should be designed for its use and not just an aesthetic need. This concept has been expanded on by groups such as the Bauhaus who have designed many objects still used as much as sixty years later, but can this idea still truly exist in a world where technology is built for its potential rather than a solid/specific purpose.

Can the newest iPhone know what it will be used for and what will be designed for it until a developer creates the software? In the same sense, can a developer start creating software for a tool that hasn’t yet been designed? It would appear that technology such as the iPhone will be designed for purposes such as the tool’s aesthetic and basic needs. This will force developers to create based on the technology/item’s limitations rather than what it could do ideally if designed differently, or if the software was being created for a different platform.

There will always be limitations in every industry, this has always been true, but this appears to be the first time where technology can no longer be designed purely for its function because that function is so undefined. This fact will restrict the ability to create innovative and useful tools for said technology, because it wasn’t necessarily designed to be useful in innovative ways. 

Will Truran, UX Designer, GeekHive

Will Truran

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