or the open apple blossom, the toiling work horse,
the blithe swan,
the branching oak,the winding stream at its base,
the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun,
Form ever follows function
and that is the law.
Where function does not change, form does not change.”
Does form always follow function? You might not think so to look at the French Poodle. I always thought this was a silly look with the chest all puffed out and the little pompoms around the ankles but then I learned that the look serves a purpose. The Poodle was bred as a hunting dog–to leap into cold water and retrieve dead ducks. The fluff around the chest protect and warm the lungs and heart, the hind legs are free for swimming, the pompoms warm the joints. Form Follows Function.
This guy’s groomer may have carried it too far, but the basic design is functional.
New York City’s beautiful firehouses, like the one at the top of this post, are perfect examples of form following function and they’re so appealing. I love their red doors, their orderly design and the polite way they nestle into a row of brownstones. Each one has a unique design and decoration. I find it deeply moving about my fellow humans that something so necessary and utilitarian is made to be so beautiful.
I was walking with Arthur past Engine Company 14, the one that starred in the movie, Ghostbusters, when a hook and ladder came home. The firefighter at the wheel, who didn’t look old enough to drive, had to turn left but there was a car in his way. He put his hand out the window with a lovely “after you” wave for the car to go ahead, then made his turn and easily pulled that huge truck into the narrow doorway.
“That was so graceful,” I said to Arthur. He agreed.
When something works well, whether it’s a building or a song or just a maneuver, it’s a lovely thing. I try to keep open to the tiny delights life offers up.