Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Well Designed?

It's quite well known (to those in the know at least) that I'm quite the design and grammar nerd*, so when I read the caption below on Mia Ikuzawa's blog I'm not sure which of these interests was offended.

"2006 Mitsubishi EZ Miev - Super radical, well designed yet extremely practical.
Ticks all the boxes."

Did she mean that it was radical yet practical and just padding out the sentence, or is she mixing 'styled' with 'designed' and implying that it is practical despite this stylistic approach? The way I read it was as a contradiction in terms: that despite being well designed it was also practical.

In my view practicality is a core value to being well designed, this doesn't mean that form must blindly follow function, or that it must be able to accommodate 2.3 kids and the dog, but for a car to qualify as 'well designed' it must be practical in it's intended purpose. The purpose may be the urban utility of the EZ Miev, or the over-the-top luxury of a '60s Cadillac, or even the pin-up power of a Lamborghini Countach. No one would ever call the Countach practical in terms of day to day usability, but it certainly served it's purpose of being the most outlandish supercar of it's era, this was it's intended purpose, and as such it was well designed for this role.

I suppose that much of the case for debate comes down to the definition of 'practical' and I'm fully aware that I'm nit-picking at a tiny sentence, but I find it very hard to come up with a sentence that justifies putting 'yet' after 'well designed'. Maybe "well designed, yet rapidly developed". Virtually every other example that sprung up as a possibility only works with "well designed and..."

That's enough of a rant for this Tuesday morning, I should get back to working on my portfolio to make it more practical and well designed.

*please note that that doesn't mean that I can spell, type or draw, though I do feel I could design and write my way out of a paper bag.


User.One said...

Para. 2, line 2; "funtion".
B- see me.
I agree on your points regarding "styled" in place of "designed".

Dan said...

Fixed. I'll do better next time, I promise.

I knew I put that disclaimer in for a reason!