Some years ago I went to Syria, and when I came back, I felt that Europe is a too squared place. Too perfectly designed.
Last Thursday I arrived to Madrid, from my 2 week trip to Costa Rica. In that country people have enough money to live, but not to choice among lots of things. So “functionality” is more important than “design”. They use, for example, iron surfaces as roofs, because mud tiles are more expensive, and (in their opinion) they are less durable. That’s the reason San JosÃ© (the main city) is the ugliest city I’ve visited. Luckily, their natural environment adds an incredible amount of beauty to that lovely country.
I came back to Europe, and suddenly I saw around me a too designed world. The new Madrid’s airport building is really cold designed, soul-less. Designed to be beautiful. But with a enormous lack of functionality. I’ll not speak about the bizarre behaviour of the bathroom hardware. I’ll speak just about the benches, as an example. They are specially designed to not let people to lie down (we don’t need an airport full of people sleeping, it’s ugly, right?). They have armrests for every seated person, with precise dimensions. [I found a way to lie down however, joining to benches facing each other. It was funny to see, when I woke up, that some people copied my idea.]
Most of the time, in my ex-office, designers fought against programmers… Beauty or useful? The average point is the solution, Aristotle said. The problem is that in Europe things are over-designed, over-beautiful. Of course we need some good looking things to make us feel good. But, do we really need all this sick detail-focused over-design in our world? It seems that we lost our souls long time ago, our simplicity, our nature.