The Editor's Note

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 June, 2009, 12:00am

Does form follow function? Or is function a slave to form? The architects and designers of the past 100 years have laid down battle lines over these questions and their war of words rumbles on. In creating this Design & Living edition of Style magazine, we found there was a further issue that must be settled by architects and designers alike, namely 'What is function?' For if one of the purposes of a building is to inspire then the soaring formalism of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram building in New York, for example, has its function at the service of its form to exactly the same degree as the Rubenesque curves of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao. To explore this issue further the stories in this edition are all devoted to one question, namely how can a building and the objects within it create a greater sense of harmony and beauty, while at the same time being efficient homes or hotels or museums? Among those offering a view are Frank Gehry, Alvar Aalto, So Takahashi, Michael Young and, implicity, all the talented designers who created the pieces featured in +Stuff, our popular new guide to all the must-have products. Thus, whether one bows to form or function, there should be much to adore in the pages that follow.