There are many games in which the highest aspiration of the player is to win in as few moves as possible. In this respect, the only real difference between a game of tic tac toe and one of chess is the level of complexity that must mastered before game play can become efficient. Architecture can be understood as a similar process; every design move is carefully considered to give its maximum potential towards the overall design for a deceptively simplified (not simplistic*) result. The argument of form versus function becomes a high stakes game when you’re trying to distill each idea to its essence in this way. However I’ve always believe that there is no reason that, if you consider carefully enough which is not an easy task, there is no reason that both form and function can be in harmony within each move. In this method, structure is just what the engineers do, ornamentation is not a thrown on at the last moment, and program can be specific (but conversely not too specific that a space has no flexibility for an inevitable change in program). Every decision would then answer multiple problems, and everything would resolve perfectly. Perfection is not really obtainable, and I certainly have yet to design anything that flies even close to these lofty goals. However once we architects manage to design these simple, intergrated, and multi functional everything buildings, there will be plenty of similarly designed furniture just waiting to populate the spaces.
Claudio Sibille is an industrial designer from Uragway, who specializes in space saving furniture. Although each piece seemingly has one obvious function, it actually hides a number of other pieces that allow it to be taken apart to fulfil other needs. It is beautiful work, and incredibly sophisticated design.
*The difference between simple not simplistic was first introduced to my friend Mandi in a desk crit with our first studio teacher Mo Zell. It’s stuck with us ever since.
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