Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blobjectifying stuff is good

I support efficiency and cost effectiveness and design focused on completing tasks, but I also think the world would be incredibly boring if everything around us all of the time was strictly functional.

Thankfully, designers, particularly industrial designers, for the past decade or so have been part of a movement to bring more curves and swirls back to our equipment. The Christian Science Monitor provided context on this topic pretty thoroughly, as it related to an art exhibit filled with cuddly gear. This demonstrates an era in design where form no longer feels constrained by function.

Should ornamentation be empty? Should frills be added just to be cute? Of course not. Yet why not make a computer that looks huggable, as the iMac is described? It sure seemed to work for Apple. ... This goes back to a fundamental question of art: Why do we make anything beautiful? We can't really measure the pleasure we get from looking at something that inspires us. That seems to me more about the limits of our tools for understanding.


Julie M. Davis said...

I completely agree with you our world would be incredibly boring if we only designed for functionality. I think the first reason we make things beautiful is so that people will embrace them and buy them but beauty is in the hands of the beholder so it is always a crap shoot of what the best design will be.

Apple has found a way to package the world of functionality and beauty into one time and again. With every iteration of the iPod we as consumers become more and more dependent because the designs not only offer us pleasure through it's beauty but fulfills our needs through it's functionality.

Rich said...

Can't efficiency and function also be beautify in its own right? And, if one is enthused about something, is that not good efficiency rather than just aesthetic? The use if more interesting, therefore the access to the content is sustainable in a more successful way...