Not exactly sure how I feel about this topic … In my mind it brings up the conflict of you can’t have either/or – beauty & functionality – and have great design. Vignelli’s map apparently placed a heavy emphasis on the beauty aspect and not the functionality, according to this essay. The result, clearly a failure as a new map had to later be introduced.
That said, I’m not completely sold that Vignelli did not pay attention to functionality. In regards to placing a heavy emphasis on geography (the representation of Central Park serving as an example), yes, he fell short. However, to downsize the scale of Central Park simply because there not as many stop points as you would find in the city street sections makes logical sense. I understand the confusion that it could cause for visitors, but it does make sense to a degree for me.
On the other hand, it’s clear how that thought process in design could cause a problem.
I’m not sure if I agree with the writer or disagree in regards to this being a good piece of design. I see both sides of the spectrum and haven’t yet chosen a side.