Form and function: A matter of perspective

Janell D. Townsend, Mitzi M. Montoya, Roger J. Calantone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


It is often claimed that in product design, product form should follow the intended function of the product. The idea of whether or not "form follows function" is a matter of entrenched views that are often based on anecdotal evidence, and may be industry-specific. We integrate diverse perspectives of design theory and practice by addressing the definitions and relationships between two fundamental components of design: form and function. We consider the primary actors in the product design process as well as the managerially controllable aspects of function and form and the relationship between them, and offer suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-377
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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