Aesthetic vs. Functionality

In my line of work, this question keeps pop-up here and there while doing my work, be it in my design work as interior designer or as a lecturer in class. I think this topic is just too hard for me answer. Are there possibilities both to be combining in designs? It always clashes in design, we can either have the aesthetic but not the functionality or vice versa. A good design definitely combines both elements.

A lot of times in my field, what we think its aesthetic in design but it may not be the same for the clients we face. Everybody has their own perception of aesthetic. So I guess it’s “One man’s food is another man’s poison” what more can I say? I can’t shove the design down the client’s throat, which is totally unethical. The clients are the people who are staying in the house and they should know better the way they live their lives and how things should be done. All we can do is only to take in as much information as possible to create an aesthetic livable home for a satisfied client.

To create something that have both elements of aesthetic with functionality needs a lot of research and time, a lot of R&D involved. It is not impossible but I guess it’s the time spent to create something that has all the elements would be costly. As you can see some designer’s piece is sky flying high price, it’s because the time spent on R&D. As a designer which one would you go for, aesthetic or functionality or a mixture of both? I guess one simple way to apply these elements would be, use the aesthetic element for show units and functionality for home user. The reason for doing so would be very simple, aesthetic for show units because it’s a show case place for developer to sell the home. As long as the aesthetic looks great and can sell, functionality is only secondary. Where as for home user, functionality would the priority and aesthetic would come in second place, but to some client it’s as important as aesthetic.

So being a designer it’s never an easy job and we have to constantly out do ourselves to move to the next level. Creativity has no boundaries and no limits.



weikhean said...

Well, in the perfect world, we will have functionality meets aesthetic. However, in the real world we are living in, it is a bit difficult to achieve. Not to say impossible, you need the right client, the right budget and the right taste for design to achieve it. I'm still waiting for the right client, with the good design taste and the right amount of budget... yeah, dream on, one day he/she will come...

Farha said...

So true, so true...we have all been there, done that and at the moment, 2/3 of us is still doing it! At the end of it is normally frustration. Sometimes though, there is satisfaction at the end of it. But i keep thinking, is that slim chance of satisfaction worth the blood sweat and teras? To give it your all and not be appreciated....that is the saddest thing about what we do. Don't you guys feel defeated more often than not?

Ken said...

I know how it feels, when all is done and not being appreciated. Sometimes you just feel like doing what the client wants and just hand over the things, no need to waste so much time thinking of the design and functionality of it as well. Nowadays just work for the sake of working and not for the pleasure of working.

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Dreaming day and night, That is what I do at most time, Waking from it I might, But when would be the right time.

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