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Go to the kitchen and open up the first drawer you come to and the odds are you’ll find the wooden spoon that is used to stir soups and sauces. If the spoon is of a certain age you will see that it no longer has its original shape. It has changed, as if a piece had been cut obliquely off the end. Part of it is missing. We have (though not all at once, of course) eaten the missing part mixed up in our soup.

It is the continual use that has given the spoon its new shape. This is the shape the saucepan had made by constantly rubbing away at the spoon until it eventually shows us what shape a spoon for stirring soup should be.

— Bruno Munari

In today’s fast-paced and lean culture where deadlines were yesterday and pitching goes unpaid, often is the case that we present the client with a design prior to gaining a full understanding of the function required.

By hastily entering the design phase without the necessary information, we will arrive at nothing more than a subjective ‘design’ littered with our personal opinions. If we allow ourselves to go about designing in this way, then why are we so shocked to receive equally subjective opinions from the client?

If the design is conceived from an understanding of the function, provided by an appraisal of the need and conducting necessary research, then we can hope to achieve an objective design; a design that is devoid of personal opinions; a design that feels right; a design where its form is derived from its function and therefore could be no other way.