dissertation on functionalism, please help RRS feed

  • Question

  • From my previous essay where by I was discussing the different trends of Le Corbusier and Adolf Loos, I came across functionalism that aroused deep though and curiosity, within a theory that is widely open to debate, questions are of certainty. Such as does one design specifically to accommodate its function or should there be more concern with the visual decorative aspect? I first came across functionalism from reading the origin of functionalism theory, which I later tried to adapt to my individual design but with a lake of knowledge and little conviction I felt I didn’t prevail in the design. I was in constant battle with myself through the early stages of the design processes always questioning my decision. It’s these decision that interest me, how does one initiate design, functionalism works on the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building. Functionalism is a detachment from all historical and decorative elements believing that good design results from or is identical with functional efficiency. When designing for a client, is there a thin line between producing a fixed regulated layout and sculpturing decorative form? I plan to address the different views and theory behind the design process. Please could you post your own thoughts on this topic, and suggest some books that mite be relate to my dissertation

    Thank you

    Sunday, September 7, 2008 6:20 PM

All replies

  • As a past carpenter, who's been in the software industry for a long time now... I can tell you that many many programmers today still start coding as they are doing the conceptualization.  Very little effort is continuously put into the design efforts up front.  Of course, the big question is how does one start?  Does one that starts programming consider themselves to be utilizing Functionalism techniques for problem solving?  It depends on whom you ask.  If a Basic programmer breaks their program into Functions then aren't they thinking functionally?  If a C# or Java person breaks their programs up into methdods, the same question should apply right?  I believe that there are foundational Functions that do not vary.  Similar to a foundation, for example a Query to a database is usually only a "Select field from database where filed = this"  That is functional but it's also foundational too in that it doesn't really get too much more simple than that.  However; once one begins to think abstractly, then it's still Functionalism at work, it's just at a broader scope.  The generic abstraction could be then "Select XXX from YYY where XXX = ZZZ" not too much of a strech for sure, but many many programmers have a difficult time getting to abstraction because they are only interested in solving the problem at hand. 


    It takes planning, knowledge of the past, vision for the future to come up with a generic foundation that becomes a fixed regulated layout when the concrete demands it.  It's like cement, in and of itself it has no shape or form, but it is the part of which foundations are laid.  The raw materials become the 'reusable' parts of the future, but even more importantly, if designed correctly subsequent changes to the concrete classes will never impact one another in a negative way.  You can always add another room onto the foundation or even change and exisiting room, but either activity should never impact the other room/rooms.  If it does, then the design need improvement.  The two key words today are 'reuse' and 'maintainability'.


    P.S. Studies all over the place show maintainence of software projects to account for over 60% of all SDLC costs.  Only 20% is development.  Yet today, where does everyone want to live?  "In the development department"...How many people in development today really understand the issues going on out there in the 'real world'?

    Monday, September 8, 2008 6:34 PM