Monday, 25 January 2010

Function v Aesthetics

The battle still rages on in the design world. Should an object be functional or just be purely for aesthetic reasons? Can it be both?

In his book, "The Culture of Design", Guy Juiller presents us with this idea.

At the end of last year I watched a programme on the BBC called Design for Life where Phillipe Starck hosted a number of wannabe designers in his studios with the prize of getting to work with Starck himself. Throughout the show the contestants constantly made references to his 'amazing' work.

For me Starck's work is more about making a statement rather than being functional.
This is evident in the example that Juiller presents to us, Juicy Salif lemon-squeezer. There is no denying that this is quite an eye catching design and the description given to us personifies what could be an ordinary juicer into something with human qualities.

"Three slender legs rise from delicate ankles. Bending at an impossibly high knee...this tripod holds aloft the raw nature of the implement's bulbous, phallic head." Juiller 2008:75

After such a description it seems hard to follow and sure enough the next section talks about the bad points. "only half - works", "rendering the first squeezing redundant" and "juice splatters out" are all phrases used to describe this 'innovative' piece of design - not something you would want to hear in a review if I were thinking about buying this!

With thanks:
"The Culture of Design" by Guy Juiller

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