Yaron Schoen adding (subtly) his voice to the “flat design”, “to PSD or not to”, and skeuomorphism banter making the rounds of late:
Clearly without function, form is pointless. But a beautiful and timeless product has both an elegant solution and an elegant aesthetic, it rarely ever is one or the other. For example, the problem of sitting comfortably was solved already, what makes the Eames chair iconic is its timeless beauty and its comfortableness….
There are many ways to achieve or interpret beauty, it’s not an absolute science. If it were we’d all be out of a job and life would be pretty boring.
Takeaway: Beauty has, and will always have, a place in making our world better. But we designers should avoid absolutes, even if they seem reasonable. (After all, the skilled designer intentionally breaks rules from time to time, confidently knowing what the rules are.)