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Where Style Meets Design

What is meant by “Form Follows Function” and why does it matter?

This phrase, often heard in reference to architectural design, refers to the purpose of a building. The way the building is constructed should be in line with how it will be used. The building’s purpose, in essence, should be the starting point for the design. This concept was first proposed by Louis Sullivan (1856-1924) in his Chicago-based architectural firm and was generally applied to all things architectural for many years. Until, that is, a young employee of Sullivan’s named Frank Lloyd Wright revised the axiom to say “Form and function are one.” His vision and construction of the Guggenheim Museum is a primary example of this idea.