Form is Function

Stephen Fry on Steve Job’s design focus, characterized by some as showmanship:

The use of that last phrase, “style over substance” has always been, as Oscar Wilde observed, a marvellous and instant indicator of a fool. For those who perceive a separation between the two have either not lived, thought, read or experienced the world with any degree of insight, imagination or connective intelligence. It may have been Leclerc Buffon who first said “le style c’est l’homme — the style is the man” but it is an observation that anyone with sense had understood centuries before, Only dullards crippled into cretinism by a fear of being thought pretentious could be so dumb as to believe that there is a distinction between design and use, between form and function, between style and substance.

I love this. Design has been mischaracterized as the decoration of useful things. Nice to have, but not important enough to be respected. The truth is that design could be better characterized as a useful thing that has been thought through meticulously. After all, design is not how it looks, it’s how it works.

Form Function Quote Steve Jobs