Re: Form and Function are ONE

My biggest hang up with the form follows function debate is the fact
that form is a static creation (relitively speaking) and function
is almost always a dynamic conception. How many times does a
structure get designed and is soon after reprogrammed? If function
is a changing force in design, how can one develop the perfect form?
Why is complexity and contradiction of form, with an emphasis on
positive experiences, not manageable?

I can't help but think of Pei's Handcock tower over there
on the skyline-- a nightmare of form from an engineer's perspective,
but a very moving artistic composition. Granted this does not
support my above hang-up, but in no way was a rhomboid skyscraper
a form-follows-function descision. For a few years I never even
thought the structure was anything but square or rectangular.
I do remember incongruous memories, though. Different perspectives,
different structure-- but no serious thought. Then it hits me--
what a concept. I'm sure the bulding functions beautifully in
program, putting aside the serious structural problems over its
lifetime: popping out windows, threat of collapse, immense economical
problems. (Did you guys know there is a few ton concrete block
sliding around in the 45th floor or so in a pit of grease?
It functions as a mass-spring damper-- redistrtibutes the wind loads)
So form can and will always be "married" with function, but it
is when we push the envelope of each that "great" things happen.
Whether beautiful or detrimental.

My First Response--

John Pohorylo
Tufts University
[email protected]
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