“Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Part II of the series of articles on The Art of Design:
4 Stages of the Design Process:
Ask All the Questions
Artists come up with lots of great designs. However, when designing a piece the engineering or functionality of the piece should be well thought out prior to starting with the actual material.
Of course if the piece doesn't need to be functional, well that’s entirely another design consideration. Consider how is it going to hang, is the hole in the right area to provide balance, does the piece have symmetry or are you trying to provoke emotion with 3 elements, can it take wear and tear, are the materials suitable, etc.
Challenge yourself to think laterally when designing from inspiration. Instead of seeing the obvious, look to see what elements, ideas, or inspiration can be gained by finding a solution beyond the obvious.
Do you just see the saguaro cactus or do you see the undulating lines that could be formed by fold-forming a piece with a hammer and vise?
Consider the Elements
Create a checklist for each of your creations until it becomes second nature. Your list might have the following: shape, form, texture, line, mark, color, the 5 senses, emotion, function, materials, and process.
What elements do your piece contain and which should be carefully edited or added?
Apply the Design Development
Take one element from your design or idea and begin to sketch. Sketch additional ideas and elements. Think laterally and in stream of consciousness fashion asking yourself “what about this” or “what if I add or subtract that”.
Consider each new sketch, each progression and refine as you build the design. This is the voyage of your design. Enjoy the trip!
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