05 April 2010

Evolutionary Constants & Thingamabobs

A portable Ouija Board, but then what?
The techno-media's yadda-yadda about Apple's iPad reached fever pitch late last week.

The Twitter chatter
...you drove from Vancouver to Seattle, without reservations, and still got an iPad faster than I did!
drove me to my un-follow tipping point.

iPad-as-Serving-Tray

I tagged the iPad-as-Serving-Tray image above with:
gizmo, gadget, contraption, doohickey, thingamabob, and thingamajig. 
I amended my tags to include conspicuous consumption because of the flocks of would-be-kitchen-waste-recyclers camping out and clamoring for tomorrow's disposable consumer electronic device. Tag that with irony, then remember to save your iPad for future tea ceremonies.

If Steve Jobs is really as obsessive about details as Apple lore suggests, why would his product designers choose a form factor whose dimensions 9.56 inches by 7.47 inches don't yield the golden ratio?

Audacious.

1.6180339887

How is it that a shell, or a sunflower seed pod, or a palm leaf spiral evolved over eons to conform to a number like 1.6180339887?

How is it that the proportions in various parts of a dolphin's body incrementally optimize over eons to yields universal evo-constants?

Is it professionally reckless for designers to ignore these evolutionary constants?

Perhaps not. But in my mind, the designer had better have a compelling reason for ignoring time-tested constants found in nature.