Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fig-ure it out.

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My colleagues over in Design would be quick to point out that "form follows function."  A well-designed utensil will not only be visually pleasing, it will also do an exemplary job of performing the task for which it is intended.  iPods are wonderfully designed pieces of technology, but we wouldn't plunk down our hard-earned cash for them if they didn't  store and reproduce high quality audio, graphics and video.  Their little touch wheel navigation gizmos were the epitome of form following function until the touch screen came along with an even more parsimonious solution.

It strikes me that form should also follow philosophy.  The container should be harmonious with the essence of that which it contains.  Hence, I have a bit of trouble, for example, with splendid cathedrals and jewel encrusted religious costumes as trappings of a faith that, in theory, eschews wealth and ostentation.  Beauty pageants awarding college scholarships give me a similar feeling of vertigo.

I encountered a commercial recently that seemed more than ordinarily disingenuous in the whole form follows philosophy arena.  I'm talking about Sunsweet Ones - individually packaged prunes.  The general narrative of the ads attempts to shade itself green.  They mention high antioxidant  content, great taste and convenience.  Hmmmm.  I admit to being curious as to the amount of energy and resources it requires to wrap a single prune and then wrap those single prunes up in a larger package, then box up those larger packages in a big box and put them in a truck and then .  .  .  .   Well, you get the idea.

I'm thinking I may have found some new candidates for that special circle of hell that I had previously reserved for the people who invented shrink wrap.
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4 comments:

  1. I think the same thing everytime I see that comercial. Why is an individually packaged prune better anyway? And what about all the post-prune waste?

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  2. "Post-prune waste"? LOL Do we really want to go there!!

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  3. Awesome. I really did mean the packaging.

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