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Form and Function: A Gift for the Design Savvy

12.13.11 Form and Function: A Gift for the Design Savvy

takeya bottle

Objects are more than utilitarian. At least the nicely designed ones. Form can be part and parcel of functionality and sometimes a thing unto itself. In either case, we value aesthetic things in our lives. In the best case, we're able to choose objects that are designed so well, they possess both high functionality and beauty. 

Obviously, we can also have sentimental feelings towards an object. A favorite object is a symbol, sometimes an expression of one's self through color, form, or pattern. And most objects have a story attached, whether it travels with you daily or serves your nightly salad or is the cup that perfectly fits in your hand or the solid wood piece of art that adorns any space it happens to be put down in your home.

Donald Norman, author of the book, "Emotional Design-Why we Love (or Hate) Everyday Things", says there are different aspects of emotional design:

  • Visceral: design connects with appearance--how it looks when in use. 
  • Behavioral: the pleasure and effectiveness of use.
  • Reflective: the rationalization and intellectualization of a product. Can I tell a story about it? Does it appeal to my self image?

Choosing products made of materials like glass, bamboo, clay and stainless steel, both safe and intelligently designed, makes it easier to find objects that fulfill these ideals. 

Our gift picks for a design savvy person?

  1. Bamboo salad bowl
  2. Double wall porcelain cup with silicone lid, chevron pattern
  3. Hanno the Gorilla
  4. Solid wood flower nesting blocks
  5. Modern and Classic Takeya water bottles
What objects do you appreciate for the design?
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