“Form follows function”— Louis Sullivan

To some this quote is a formula that can lead to timeless design, but how far does this quote go when applied to an older piece of machinery? One needs not to argue that functionality establishes timelessness, but at what point does time leave functionality. Lets begin with the example of a classic cafe racer. With its exposed infrastructure and bare materials it leaves an intoxicating modernist affect on the soul; where every part has a function, including the paint. Drum brakes, classic tires, and a sealed beam headlight are all functional for their time, but how does that stand up to today’s functionality? When one has a headlight that will light the road ahead it is functional, but when there are more viable options for more increased light output does that make the previous incarnation less functional? One can argue that technology is constantly changing/increasing functionality and therefore constantly changing form. But where is this line drawn in the sand? These are just a few of the scrambling questions I ask myself everyday.

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