Form is function.

Form is function.

The ‘modernists’ disparaged decoration and celebrated minimalism under the slogan, ‘form is function, function is form.’ Decoration became an anathema to good design because it had no function, and art followed suite.

I enjoy good minimalist design but I also love decoration and when this little slogan popped into my head it occurred to me that decoration too follows this principle, that to overlook decorations contribution to function is simply a materialist and superficial interpretation of reality… and design.

Any one who uses the word energy, who looks through a telescope or a microscope or who looks at their internal landscape for a moment will quickly find materialist philosophy a little bit lacking. I personally find much minimalist design lacking. The function of decoration is the expression of energy; it is like a language of energy. For instance soft round lines express sinuosity or flow, sharp lines may express drama.

Lines, dots, flowers, leaves, patterns speak to our non-rational, poetic side. To overlook the function of decoration in design is to overlook an entire dimension of our existence…and besides that, living in a minimalist paradise, with hard edges everywhere and a palette of grey would be bloody depressing. Don’t you think?

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