What do you call a person that goes for functionality, yet not for the beauty of set things?

For example in a game, this person builds things that are well made and functioning, but lack on the creative and beautiful side.

  • 1
    What do you mean by “the beautifulness of set things”? What is a set thing? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 21 '19 at 14:26
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I think it's meant to refer back to the things they built in the example. – JJJ Apr 21 '19 at 16:26
  • Please provide an example sentence for clarity. – jimm101 May 3 '19 at 13:06
  • 2
    The word utilitarian might be suitable for the context you describe.. – Sven Yargs May 3 '19 at 18:06



  1. designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive.
    "a utilitarian building"


  • +1 This is exactly what I thought of as well. – Jim Jan 6 at 16:48

I would call that person a Minimalist.

belonging or relating to a style in art, design, and theatre that uses the smallest range of materials and colours possible, and only very simple shapes or forms:

-Cambridge Dictionary on-line

They don't do anything more than necessary. However, I feel that there's a better word for it.

EDIT: I think the better term for it I had on my tongue is a Pragmatic person.

pragmatic : relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters : practical as opposed to idealistic

-Merriam Webster on-line

  • Hello, Lassy, and welcome to EL&U. Notice I edited your answer to bring it up to site standards i.e. include citation, source, and link. – Cascabel Apr 21 '19 at 15:09
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    @Cascabel Thank you – Lassy Apr 21 '19 at 15:45
  • 3
    Pragmatic is much more appropriate than minimalist. Something that is minimalist does not need to lack creativity or beauty. (In fact, I was on the verge of downvoting this when I saw your second word.) I would edit your answer to reverse the position of the two words—so that the more appropriate one is read first. – Jason Bassford Apr 21 '19 at 15:59
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    The noun is, of course, 'pragmatist'. – Philip Wood Apr 21 '19 at 17:13
  • "Minimalist" describes someone who does a job in the simplest way possible to meet requirements. It does not speak to quality or preference between function and aesthetic in any way. "Pragmatist" is a better fit by a mile, though "pragmatist" does not convey that the person so described is skilled in the practice about which he or she is pragmatic. – R Mac Apr 21 '19 at 17:32

How about prosaic?

From Cambridge:

without interest, imagination, and excitement:

If only she'd been called Camilla or Flavia instead of the prosaic Jane.

He asked if I'd got my black eye in a fight - I told him the prosaic truth that I'd banged my head on a door.



From Collins Dictionary:

If you call someone a philistine, you mean that they do not care about or understand good art, music, or literature, and do not think that they are important.



a person regarded as smugly narrow and conventional in views and tastes, lacking in and indifferent to cultural and aesthetic values


  • Although I would argue that philistine gives a pejorative connotation, which the OP might not be seeking. – Zack May 3 '19 at 13:39
  • @Zack I agree. It's hard to interpret "smugly narrow" as positive. :-) – jimm101 May 3 '19 at 13:58
  • This covers half of the OP's intended meaning - it very well covers the lack of appreciation for beauty and creativity, but doesn't address the value placed on functionality in any way. – Nuclear Hoagie Jan 6 at 16:31

You could describe this individual as a no-frills type of person. This indicates that they prefer things that are stripped down to their minimal functional elements, and do not have any "extra" features that don't directly contribute to functionality. These frills could be things like art or decoration, but could encompass anything not directly related to the main purpose, like getting a bag of peanuts on an airplane. No-frills implies functionality first, without much consideration for beauty/comfort/enjoyability or any other secondary goal.

Another fitting word would be to simply describe the person as being practical. This again indicates that the person is primarily concerned with functionality above other considerations. It doesn't necessarily suggest an explicit avoidance of "extra" features like no-frills does, but it does place the highest value on functionality.

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