Two weeks ago I posted a quote from architect Joshua Prince-Ramus concerning the role of constraints in the process of design, and their relation to the  end goal of creating innovative, highly appropriate solutions. 

In response, my friend Scott emailed me this cool bit about Charles Eames talking about constraints in the design process (I turned off the comments feature on this blog due to the volume of inappropriate, abusive, and just plain dumb content being left behind.  The upside is that I’m getting some thoughtful emails.  Change is good).  Here’s the Eames bit from Scott:

I liked Charles Eames’s piece "Design Q&A" so much I found a text
version somewhere and kept it. This part is perhaps the best:

Q. Does the creation of design admit constraint?

A. Design depends largely on constraints.

Q. What constraints?

A. The sum of all constraints. Here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem-the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible-his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints-the constraints of price, of size, of strength, balance, of surface, of time, etc.; each problem has its own peculiar list.

Q. Does design obey laws?

A. Aren’t constraints enough?