Clean lines and good design

I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that this was where the article was going and I fucking laughed when it got there. Five design lessons you can take from Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi:

  1. Good design has no need of clean lines. They are a form of decorative ornament. Even in aeronautics, they have little to do with performance.
  2. Good design is backwards-compatible, retro-fittable. A modular design with components that can be repaired, replaced or upgraded will have a longer life.
  3. Good design takes into account the economic footprint for manufacture, as well as (from 2., above) the economic circumstances of the market.
  4. Good design takes a successful prototype and improves upon it. If the result is not a clear improvement, then the prototype is returned for a re-think. The legacy of the successful SU-27 was still being honoured at this September’s Russian International Air Show.
  5. The history of good design is the chronology of incremental and cumulative improvements to successful prototypes. The history of one-offs that led no-where is the history of one-offs that led nowhere.


Download your Sukhoi 30MKI vs. Eurofighter Typhoon wallpaper here.

Graham Brenton McKay, Architecture Myths #9: Clean Lines