Carl Sagan, Cosmos
"If there was a (booby) prize for the most misused design cliché, a firm favorite would be “form follows function,” with “less is more” coming a close second.
Not only is “form follows …” often quoted incorrectly, it is not even accurate: the original wording was “form ever follows function.” It is also routinely misattributed, mostly to 20th-century modernist grandees, like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, but was actually coined by the less famous American architect, Louis Sullivan.
Misused though Sullivan’s quote has been, his point, that the style of architecture should reflect its purpose, made sense at the time, and continued to do so for much of the last century, not just for buildings, but objects too. That was then. Thanks to digital technology, designers can squeeze so many functions into such tiny containers that there is more computing power in a basic cellphone than at NASA’s headquarters when it began in 1958. That is why the appearance of most digital products bears no relation to what they do."
Alice Rawthorn, The New York Times,
May 30, 2009. (via breathnaigh