Why do we rate Form over Function?

The marina of Swansea, Wales's second city
Image via Wikipedia

I stayed in a nice hotel in Swansea last night, city centre, 4 star, amazing old building done up to a very high standard etc etc. But when  you get into the experience it’s not all that it might be.

Yes of course; it looked great. But it was the small things that were irritating: the nice bathroom that had a modern toilet that was so low that my arthritic hips made it very difficult to get up and down on it. Looked pretty though.

A modern shower unit that could not be turned on without me getting soaked with cold water first, because the controls were in the wrong place.

A luxury double bed, made of two singles joined together with a dip in the centre so that I slept rolling down a hill.

The heating system was probably the best that money could buy – but I couldn’t work out how to use the controls. So we were cold. And when we did turn it on it laucnhed some jet engines that could have woken the dead.

So on the surface and onf first impression, it was great – indeed good enough to get its tourism awards. But would I really want to stay there again? No. Sorry, but the focus on modern minimalism at the expense of true utility and comfort showed that the designers were more taken with form rather than function. That for me is the wrong focus.