I'm looking for a word that means "something valuable (intrinsically) because of its dysfunctional nature that makes it unnapealing for profit or production."

  • 1
    Sounds vaguely like a "blivet."
    – Rob_Ster
    Apr 2, 2016 at 2:06
  • Difference is the one I need "has an instrinsic value," like art (not massive production art) but independent art which has no other function but to be itself and reveal meanings. Apr 2, 2016 at 2:11
  • Such a weird question. Can't think of any word for this.
    – NVZ
    Apr 2, 2016 at 16:43
  • Please tell me why someone would pay for such a thing. Once you tell me a reason I will say that that is it’s function or purpose. Therefore anything that has value has a function otherwise it would have no value.
    – Jim
    Apr 2, 2016 at 22:57
  • it doesn't follow nececessarily that that which has a function has value; just take a look at art. There is art that is not made into massive production for commerce and holds a value of its own. I don't want this to be marketable; I want the opposite; I want it to be purposeless that in this functionlessless it finds its true value. Yet it is true that there are art forms which start from function and adapt form to the end of the particular. Apr 2, 2016 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


From OP's comment

should be dysfunctional, for only in its "functionlessness" can it fullfill its lack of purpose




Some questions to ask yourself when wondering if something is kitch are:

  • "Is it tacky?"
  • "Does it serve any practical purpose?" and finally
  • "Does it devalue someone or something that is extremely famous or valued?"

If the answers to these questions are: "yes, no, yes," then it is probably kitch.

urbandictionary: kitch

Being the pain in the butt that I am I would argue that any such things practical purpose is to make people stare at it and wonder what its purpose is.

That isn't to say I ascribe to form over function or form following function. I think the two are in a never ending dead lock with neither being the beginning or the end.

I also think kitschy knick knacks are a fun way to annoy people.

  • (Kitch) Kitsch - "A form of art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style." This defenition suits it great! I think I will call this group of Artists the Kitsch. It even has a debasing air to it; sounds powerful as denigration coming from an opposing Vanguard artist "You call that art? you lousy Kitsch!" Apr 2, 2016 at 4:56

Sounds like you're putting

form over function

the design of something is given precedence over that thing’s ability to get work done.


This is in contrast to

form following function

a principle associated with modernist architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. The principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose.


This never ending artistic debate centers around the fact that having a form can be an objects function. Ignore that and you can argue either side of this. Acknowledge it and this becomes a distinction without a difference.

  • Yes, true; this is an Adornian point of view on the value of art when centering on form and not on function; for independent art should be dysfunctional, for only in its "functionlessness" can it fullfill its lack of purpose. I need a word, for a novel I'm writing, that can coin a form of art that focuses on form as an eye opener on a cultural aspect, and not merely on the production aspect or a blended one. Apr 2, 2016 at 4:29
  • Never heard of Adornian. Google isn't being helpful either. I have, however, heard a song lyric that goes, "You cannot go against nature, because going against nature is part of nature too". Apr 2, 2016 at 4:37
  • Nice one a conflictive sentence out of conflict itself. But, is our nature, in this case to produce independent art? or to appeal to the masses? I'll probably end up coining a corny term like "Formians" and "Functionalists" for the other lot, for these particular groups of artists in my novel. lol. Apr 2, 2016 at 4:39

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