Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 31 July 2008

One reason why I blog

I’ve touched on technology and aesthetics before but clumsily, not getting to the heart of the matter.

Take a power drill. One can enclose the works in a multicoloured, smoothly shaped plastic shell making it prettier. But that’s simply giving a doll a new set of clothes. What I’m struggling for is something that looks good because of what it does.

My poor old metalworking vice – not used much these days as you can see – is, of course, required to hold workpieces securely. More interestingly, it must be designed so that I may get to any oddly shaped workpiece with a saw, a drill, a file and so on. To ensure this accessibility unnecessary metal is removed from the vice jaws.

As a result both jaws emerge from curving neck-like structures. The shape of these structures is functional but pleasing. The curves are there because those type of curves work best. And that premise is often a useful definition of beauty in other unassumingly attractive objects.

I'm ashamed about the condition of the vice, though.

4 comments:

Plutarch said...

Few people are proud of their vices, while the righteous, admit to being ashamed of them.

Zhoen said...

The most beautiful things I own, the most beautiful people I know, I did not see as pretty on first sight. It took time and awareness of usefulness, to see.

tristan said...

and us psychopaffs are shure that none of our vices are significant

Barrett Bonden said...

Left myself wide open there. Thank goodness none of you are French. The opportunity for a bi-lingual and bi-national pun on unnaturalism would have been irresistible.