A home that ‘fits’ – successfully combining form and function in home design

A home that ‘fits’ – successfully combining form and function in home design

Renovations, Tips and Advice, Lifestyle, New Homes, Services

Form or function? This is the basic question that designers and architects have had to answer over the centuries. You may think that the answer would be irrelevant to you personally but it is not! The way in which this question is answered will have a massive impact on any design undertaken on your behalf.

Allow me to explain

Some designers maintain that form is everything. That a building should fulfil its intended purposes and that all design features should do no more than simply serve that purpose. The result? The ‘brutalist’ and soulless apartment blocks so beloved of 1960’s architects. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the opinion that form should be the most important consideration. The result? Expensive vanity projects with ‘stairs going nowhere just for show’ (as Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof puts it).

I think that you will agree that the answer lies (as with so many things in life) somewhere between these two extremes. Very few of us would want to live in either a soulless box or a stylish but uncomfortable confection! So how can we navigate between these extremes? This article will show how we attempt to do this at dion seminara architecture. I think that you will find much that is appealing and sensible about our approach.

At the heart of our approach is the conviction that form and function need not be enemies but that they can be combined into a seamless whole to serve client needs in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Here is how we believe that this fusion can be achieved

Making client needs our top priority

A core value here at dion seminara architecture is that we want to create spaces that clients would be more than happy to call home. For some clients, this means that their home will lean towards the purely functional and for others exactly the opposite. That is just fine with us as it is, after all, the client and his/her family who will have to be fulfilled and contented in that space. We, therefore, make it a top priority to spend the time to ascertain exactly what the client wants in a home before coming up with ideas for how this can be achieved.

Designing homes that ‘bloom where they are planted’

One aspect that is sometimes overlooked in the form and function debate is the physical placement of new a home within its specific context and setting. This is particularly true of the ‘cookie cutter’ homes that we see sprouting up in new housing developments. Many of these homes are identical wherever they are built. We take great care to give your home a ‘sense of place’ through taking careful note of environmental conditions, the size and shape of your block and outstanding natural features. The result is a home that looks like it belongs where it was placed. Another example of how form (in this case the surrounding environment) can fuse with function (a house comfortably placed within that environment) to achieve the best possible outcome.

Enhancing visual and aesthetic appeal

The famous American engineer and architect Buckminster Fuller had an interesting take on the form/function debate. He said: “I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” This is an approach that we seek to emulate. We want to design spaces that are functional, meet client needs and blend in with the environment. We also want those spaces to be pleasing to look at and experience. Enhancing visual and aesthetic appeal will, therefore, be a key part of what we do. Not as an end in itself but as an extension of the function of the space that we design for you. It is, of course, the case that different people find different things aesthetically pleasing and we will, therefore, make sure that we find out what ‘pushes your buttons’ before embarking on a design on your behalf.

The key to our approach can be found in the title of this article. It is our passion to design new homes that ‘fit’ with the preferences, lifestyle, needs and aspirations of our clients. We further recognise that homes can fulfil many different functions and that these functions can be served by a variety of different forms. In making design decisions we will do our utmost to keep all of these factors in balance with one overriding consideration guiding our actions: The Client (You!) Please contact Brisbane based dion seminara architecture today to begin the discussion on how we can help you to combine form and function in a way that will be perfect for you.

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.