On my daily drive between my home on the beaches of Busan to my office at UNIST, I often use the time listening to BBC 4 radio programmes and pod casts. This morning a caught an addition of In Our Time, entitled Milliam Morris, one of England's foremost designers associated to the Arts and Crafts Movement.
The programme itself was more about the man and his life than the design philosophies, approaches and practices he championed. Still, an interesting encounter.
This post is not so much about the pod cast, or the man. One quote, that I confess I had not heard before, stuck in my mind:
'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.'
This got me thinking again about the role and interaction between use and aesthetic in product design. On the one hand, the necessity for products to fulfill functional requirements. On the other, for them to be aesthetically desirable. Context-of-use, personal preferences and product purpose will implicate the extent of necessity along the two dimensions. The designer's role is to navigate a solution that is appropriately positioned in its response to the two, considering user(s) needs within context.