If form follows function, does art follow technology or is technology following art? Nobody follows. Kids always want to finish first and nobody wants to be a follower – everyone is a leader. Even though we know that time, especially directional time is just a convention, we are tempted to see the form running, trying to catch up with function, maybe never reaching it.
“…That form ever follows function. This is the law.” Louis Sullivan: “rule that shall permit of no exception”.
The law is rooted in the domain of technology and as technology finds its own roots as techne (craftmanship, craft, art) the whole discussion will be come irrelevant as the work itself will define its look and feel and functionality.
Take an ubiquitous personal technology object such as the mobile phone. With a pretty well-defined functionality it is amazing to see how ugly and how hard to use many of these devices are. And it is not a lack of form, function or the two following each other but the missing awareness to the demands of the object, it’s materials and it’s users.
There is a risk involved for the designer, the engineer: when asking the device “How would you like to be?” a very expensive solution may come out and most likely a solution that does not fit the personal taste of the product person.
(to be continued – comments welcome)