Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Design Aesthetic

This is one of many pictures yours truly took on a trip to Shaker Village in Hancock, MA. I knew about Shaker design from various publications but never saw any of the tools or products first hand until now. The part that amazes one is the sheer elegance and simplicity of design imbued in everything the Shakers did including this shoe cobbler work bench, an example of form following function to the nth degree. 

Seen above is a foot powered jigsaw, a precise and elegant tool able to do the job in ways not even conceivable in today's age of cheap tools intended to be thrown away once their usefulness has been used up. Without question, the Bauhaus designers knew about the Shakers and, IMHO, were indirectly influenced by their craft and strict adherence to the aforementioned design adage of form following function as seen by not only the Shaker jig saw and cobbler's workbench but also in the Bauhaus designed Olivetti typewriter.

As a last reminder of the importance of Shaker design, seen below is the Round Barn, a structure not only strikingly original in it's appearance but also in it's practicality.

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