General Question

ragingloli's avatar

How much is aesthetics intentionally incorporated into industrial/military design, as opposed to purely being the result of function?

Asked by ragingloli (43953points) February 11th, 2018

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6 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

We made and sold parts to an automotive company. They had a specific design requirement that there be no flat surfaces visible when looking at the engine with the hood open. That meant all parts had a slight dome shape on top. It was a little more expensive but it did look nice.
And maybe it made the parts a tiny bit more resistant to impact damage.

I will PM you with the company name.

zenvelo's avatar

If you look at naval ships and military aircraft, what seems to be an aesthetic is actually an effort to make it “stealthier” so as to be less detectable.

Inside, everything is out and accessible: cable runs, fuel lines, cooling systems. That makes it easier to repair and replace. It is all function over form.

Zaku's avatar

“How much” is subjective and hard to quantify or answer.

I would say that military designs try to be functional first, but also usually attempt to meet some sort of aesthetic. There are also some functional effects of and reasons for aesthetics, such as competing designers wanting their designs to be selected, and the state of mind of the soldiers given the equipment, and the public and foreigners subjectively assessing the equipment and approving it or its deterrent value.

For example, a few people questioned the US adoption of helmet designs that are shaped somewhat like WW2 German helmets. And also in the USA, there is clearly a political issue of approval/enthusiam for the military and its deployment, and part of that is an enthusiasm for the style of certain weapons.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Not a lot, I would think. Look at the B2 spirit, amazing airplane and never has been hit once. But looks really weird and not all that pretty to some people (I like the way it looks). I would think first thought is how to make it stealthy, cheap, functional, easy to use/maneuver, etc. and on top of that has the best technology.

SergeantQueen's avatar

also, if they focused a lot on aesthetics, stealth planes wouldn’t be so hella loud

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