It is important to notice that these badly functioning designs were praised for ‘elegance.’ But elegance as theoretical scientists apply it is quite different. The elegance of a mathematical formula is that it explains a phenomenon beautifully, with no parts left over. In design, elegance is more readily perceived as a property of product than of process. If we had more elegant theories, we might look to design for more than elegance.

Quote

It is important to notice that these badly functioning designs were praised for ‘elegance.’ But elegance as theoretical scientists apply it is quite different. The elegance of a mathematical formula is that it explains a phenomenon beautifully, with no parts left over. In design, elegance is more readily perceived as a property of product than of process. If we had more elegant theories, we might look to design for more than elegance.

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– Ralph Caplan