Form follows function.

Can something be beautiful that does not function?

What is beautiful? Something with a shape that appeals to the eye or qualities that appeal to the heart. Anything that exists can be beautiful even if it is just because it exists and its complexity of existence. It just requires a context and awareness that allows it to be beautiful. So, if form follows function can something exist in form without beauty?

This definition is too idealistic to sit well with me. Nobody honestly believes the trash by the side of the road is beautiful, it might be interesting, it’s existence and journey to be here might be fascinating but by no standards does it exude beauty. There might be beautiful images of trash or beautiful things made of trash but someone has seen a potential for beauty in it’s composition or structure. But still, it is the art inspired by it that is beautiful not the trash itself. Does it have function? In the photograph it functions as a juxtaposition to the road in style, size, texture, value, composition, etc. In the sculpture it functions as a support, an aesthetic, an idea, a question, etc. So therefore it has function and beauty but in real life it has no function and no beauty.

Can something not function?

I think it depends on the definition of function. Does a lamp function as a lamp until it is turned on? Does it function as a potential for light? Can something have a function on the basis of it’s potential? I think not, not by my definitions. Potential does not equal function. Potential might serve as an opportunity for function but it is not in itself function.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: