The Seven Elements of Design – Part III – Form

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”

Genesis 1:1-2

Form or shape could really be considered the very first element of design ever to be used. First there was nothing and then there was something. As soon as something exists, form exists. Something cannot exist without form. Everything has a shape whether we can define it with words or not.

It would be foolish to deny the fact that there is design involved in every form. As I look at the objects surrounding me on my workspace, I have to realise that every single thing had to be designed by some one or some thing. Objects don’t just design themselves. We cannot think about something and expect it to create itself, nor can we expect to get everything perfect on the first go. Design is a process.

When I think of form, I think of clay. A potter can’t just envision a vase in his head and then it appears in his kiln. It takes time. How much time will this take? It takes planning. How much clay is needed? What kind of clay is needed? What tools are required? Colour? Size? All these questions come into play, but without form, they are all void. There is nothing to apply them to without a shape. Something tangible.

Design cannot exist without form and all form has to start somewhere. Think about it next time you’re working on a project. Next time you see something interesting. Wonder where it the form originated. The answers may surprise you!


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