I think that Meyer’s argument that design was synonymous with man-made things and was a product of “function x economy” (Raizman, 2004), is aligned with the period of Europe after World War I. Today, I believe that similar ideas can be faced in the developing countries. Usefulness and economy of design will be emphasised when there is a shortage of commodities and resources.
Under better circumstances, I consider that Meyer is misjudging the role of design. Design is much more important than just functionality. It has other values such as beauty and aesthetics, which shouldn’t be abandoned.
So far the 21st century, could be described as the era of sustainable design. I think that the ideals of sustainable design today are quite similar to the thoughts of Walter Gropius and Bauhaus “Art and Technology: A New Unity” (Raizman, 2004), I see no reason why good design couldn’t be both.
Summarising my view in the valuation of design, I set my framework against Meyer’s “function x economy”. I consider that the value of design is a product of utility and beauty (Figure 1). As presented below, the value of design can be illustrated as an area, which these two dimensions form. As an essential aspect, it should be noted that the value of design isn’t just its economic or market value. The value of design is the sum of its re-saleable and intrinsic value.
Raizman, D. S. (2004). History of modern design. Prentice Hall.
Small pictures in figure 1:
Flaminio Bertoni (1948). Citroen 2 CV. Retrieved 22/09/2011 from http://grumlt.citrina.lt/Sahara/1959_Citroen_2CV_Sahara.jpg
Philippe Starck (1990). Juicy Salif for Alessi. Retrieved 22/09/2011 from http://www.alessi.com/en/images/display/filename/%7Cimages%7Ccontent%7Cproducts%7C110-17924_1.jpg/x/310/y/316.png
Harri Koskinen (1996). Block lamp. Retrieved 22/09/2011 from http://houm.fi/tuotekuvat/220x/blocklamp_redcord.jpg
Donatello (circa 1440s). The bronze statue of David. Retrieved 22/09/2011 from http://www.dl.ket.org/humanities/resources/images/3davesdonatello.jpg