Creative and design teams have no shortage of ideas on how to inspire customers with their designs. Achieving the desired look in the finished product often comes with some give and take between design (form) and operation (function). Neither form, nor function, can drive the ship to success, there has to be give and take.
In 2015, we were asked to put together a RFP on a unique mobile water slide. It sounded like an interesting, fun, and profitable project for us to take on. The customer had an image of how they wanted the slide to look and operate when deployed and even how it would look driving down the road. As we did research into water slides, and worked on our preliminary designs, it became clear that in order to match the customer’s vision on look we would need to change or downgrade some of the functionality.
This particular project did not move forward for a variety of reasons, but the battle between form and function was at the forefront. This may be an extreme case, but it illustrates the point. Usually, it will just be a small change in the way something looks to accommodate for how it will be built. But sometimes major changes are necessary to ensure the viability of the project.
Don’t get us wrong, most of the time form and function work great together. Design problems often bring about a collaboration that highlights an even better overall solution. Often a very small sacrifice in the form can positively affect both the function and the budget: a 6 inch move in a highlighted graphic, reduction of door sizes, increased platform size, etc. can save budget and provide improved functionality.
Flexibility is the mediator in the battle between form and function for mobile vehicles for marketing, tailgating or just having fun.
Contact our designers and engineers with your project ideas so we can work together on your solution.