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1. In my #design book research I dug into the history of "form follows function" and made some interesting discoveries.

Yes Sullivan did write it, but he borrowed a lot from others. And also, they way he meant it is different than how we use it. I'll explain.
2. Sullivan was against how American architects mostly copied European styles and applied them in contexts they weren't meant for - this "form first" behavior bothered him. And he was inspired by older architects who felt the same way.
3. Sullivan almost certainly read Greenough - and he pretty much says in one of his essays that form should follow function, just in a longer way:
4. And of course you can find the same design philosophy offered in less concise forms in various writers dating back to even Vitruvius, who wrote: "[structures should be] solid, useful, beautiful"
5. What I've found so interesting in studying Sullivan is that if you look at his work, he was *profoundly* about forms and outward aesthetics. It's among the most notable thing about his works (here's a detail from the Guaranty building in Buffalo, NY)
6. So although the word function comes first, he reaaaaaally cared about form.
7. Frank Lloyd Wright was mentored by Sullivan and worked for him as a draftsman for many years. Eventually he'd take the motto and refine it to be more neutral: "form and function are one."
8. Most pithy rules for design are highly abusable. Form follows function gets used often to justify not caring about aesthetics at all.

"Well, if form follows function and this 'functions' then we're done, right?"

Which is very much NOT what Sullivan had in mind.
9. I'm not an architect nor a true architecture expert, so please do correct things I got wrong or make suggestions for further investigations.
10. This is all research for my next book, which is going to explain good design to everyone - you can follow the project here: #design #designmtw #ux
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