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"Form follows function"

Posted by Ward Fredericks on February 09, 2004

As an old and obsolete engineer, a time worn expression comes to mind. We used it to provide a visual picture that people could use to make the mental connection between the design of a thing and what it was used for.
Years later, in business school, I read Alfred Sloans book on organization at General Motors, and he used a similar concept to describe how the form of an organization would be developed based on the business function to be executed.
Is there a source for this before Sloan...... I think he wrote in 1963, but I believe I had heard it long before.....?