Probably due to it's attractive alliteration, the declarative, "form follows function," is one of those phrases that's become hijacked and utilized ad nauseum by everyone and their brother.


For space planners and interior designers, on the other hand, it is nothing less than a mantra, escaping the lips (hopefully) when the moment and situation are deemed receptive. Overuse of fancy words is a dangerous endeavor. So with that caveat in mind, what can I say about function and flow without sounding pretentious or superfluous?

In both principle and practice, whenever I meet with a client to discuss the design possibilities of a given space, I always begin with the client's business goals before tapping into my own experience and applying any creativity. If you stop and think about it, this sequence makes sense: what good is an aesthetically attractive space if it fails to align with (or worse, hinders) the client's business goals?

Essentially, this is what "function," "flow," and "form" are all about: ensuring that the layout and design of a space contributes to the profitability of the client's business model. In the world of space planning and interior design, the importance of good function and flow cannot be underestimated.

Just try not to use "form follows function" too much and you'll be fine.

[T]he sweeping eagle in his flight . . . the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun,

form ever follows function, and this is the law. -- Louis Sullivan

Augusta, Georgia  | |   706-394-2420