Form Follows Function, or does it? Modernist Design Theory and the History of Art: The First Horst Gerson lecture, held on October 2, 1981


Horst W. Janson


The First Gerson lecture, held in memory of Horst Gerson (1907-1978) in the Aula of the University of Groningen on October 2, 1981.

Janson resigns from the dogmatic application of the rule, in the writings of Le Corbusier and other functionalist architects, that the artistic form should do justice to the function it serves. And yet Janson answers the question with yes. The form is indeed related to the function, he says, if you at least understand the word function more than just in the sense of direct applicability. Janson was thinking of the definition of Jakob Burckhardt who envisioned an 'Kunstgeschichte nach Aufgaben', an art history that reflected the tasks and functions of the arts in society as a whole. (Gary Schwarz, NRC, 8-8-1997)



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July 26, 2018


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