Function & Form: How Functionality Plays a Role in the Design Process

Function & Form: How Functionality Plays a Role in the Design Process

October 18, 2017


When it comes to business we all try to be as efficient as possible and make sure that things are functional and working when we need them to. So, how is it that often with design and can get so swept away and carried away just because we like how something looks. So often when looking through magazines or walking through a store we fall in love with a piece and then spend the rest of the time coming up with a reason to buy it or trying to find a place for it in our home. However, moments like that can lead to buyer’s remorse when we end up not having anywhere to put it or it doesn’t quite exactly fit how we were expecting it to. This is why architect Louis Sullivan coined the term “form follows function.” Sullivan understood the importance of having a room or a house that serves a purpose, and while it is something we forget, we know still holds true.


By Putting functionality first, it lets us create a plan and think through how the room or office will be laid out. By having a plan, we are able to make the most of the space and make sure whatever elements are needed in the room: desks, chairs, computers, white boards, etc. all fit in the conference room design. No one wants an office where when they walk into it they feel overwhelmed or crowded in. Moments like that will deter any work that could be done if we are constantly fidgeting trying to get everything to fit.


By focusing on functionality it lets us be more cost efficient when we are designing a conference room. Through the lens of functionality, we are able to invest in pieces that we know will be needed for longevity and use them as the center pieces for the room and then around that build out the room. With investing in functional pieces it lets us get creative and spend less on pieces that we know are more trend focused. That way when we spend less on trend focused pieces we won’t feel bad when replace them when a new design trend comes along, or when someone else takes over the office and wants to redesign it to fit their style.

In the end of the day function and form should work together. Function and form are opposite sides of the same coin, and while we may want to prioritize form and design first. By focusing on functionality first, we are able to create a meeting room design that is laid out in a way that lets us get the most from design pieces that we add.

Kristina Carmon