Shaker Design Philosophy

By John Dilworth · October 16, 2007

The rule of thumb for Shaker creations - the best in American design

If it is not useful or necessary, free yourself from imagining that you need to make it.

If it is useful and necessary, free yourself from imagining that you need to enhance it by adding what is not an integral part of its usefulness or necessity.

And finally: If it is both useful and necessary and you can recognize and eliminate what is not essential, then go ahead and make it as beautifully as you can.

The rule of thumb for Shaker creations from the book Shaker Built: The Form and Function of Shaker Architecture by Paul Rocheleau, June Sprigg, and David Larkin