It seems to me that a lot of people look to teachers and designers to tell them about the perfect shapes and relationships.. Rules have been created like the rule of thirds which help to inform designers how to make things which are pleasing to the eye.
I tend to think that design is often a case of survival of the fittest.  Where if an object is functional it stands a better chance of being kept and if it has form or decoration which is pleasing it increases its likelihood of sticking around because there is no reason to get rid of it.

Today I visited the Great Northern Wood show and talked to some fascinating makers and designers. The conversation which stuck with me and resonated most strongly was an overheard conversation with Mark Baker an editor for Woodworkers Institute (he is also a really pleasant fella) and a young child who looked to be around 11 years old and was taken with the idea of making things. The young man picked up one of Marks forms and said it looked like a pumpkin to which Mark grinned and explained that it was a fantastic observation before explaining that often when bowls cannot be manufactured in developing world the outer flesh of gourds or anything available would be used as dishes and they are extremely functional in their use.

This conversation allowed me to start thinking about the proto shapes of design in a new way. I like to spend time looking at why things are made in a certain way and wondering what if… I think it helps to develop new ideas. I left the show looking at the shapes being produced and not only wondering what could be done to make them more interesting but also thinking about what the first iteration of the design might have been.