Posts Tagged ‘function’

“Form over function.” ~ Doc Meek

Freestanding 5-mph shock-absorbing zero-damage bumper, 1976 AMC Matador
Wednesday, March 9, 2011. Today I am grateful to learn (again) the importance of the distinction between form and function, between how a thing looks versus its purpose.
Take for example the car bumper. Originally it was designed to act as a protector for the car in the case of hitting something. The bumper was strong, steel, protected the car, and was easily and cheaply replaceable if it was bent too much by the impact.
Today, it appears to be made of plastic, and is designed to look pretty, to enhance the look of the car. It is nigh unto worthless as a bumper that protects and costs a fortune to replace (if hit, it often shatters).
I am not against beauty. If the function is beauty (as in art) then the distinction between form and function vanishes.
However, if the function is to protect the car, the replacing that function with a form that looks good, is counter-productive it seems to me.
My friends tell me that underneath the plastic bumpers on cars today lies a real bumper that is superior to the original highly visible steel bumpers, in terms of protection for the radiator and motor. I wouldn’t know. 😮
All I know is that exterior bumpers no longer protect; they just look good and break easily. 😮
They tell me that these new exterior plastic bumpers require bumper guards to prevent them from being broken so easily. A bumper guard? Give me a break. 😮

Doc Meek, Wed, Mar 9, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA
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