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:
- 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.
- Good design is backwards-compatible, retro-fittable. A modular design with components that can be repaired, replaced or upgraded will have a longer life.
- Good design takes into account the economic footprint for manufacture, as well as (from 2., above) the economic circumstances of the market.
- 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.
- 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.
Graham Brenton McKay, Architecture Myths #9: Clean Lines