Theories of beauty and taste have a long history in philosophy. However, new research—from neuroscience to organizational management to user experience and product design—has heightened our understanding about how aesthetics influences everyday decisions and actions.

Keeping a pulse on all that is new in aesthetics, ARL serves as a think tank to bring together different sectors engaged with aesthetic questions and solutions.

Subscribe to the ARL Substack for a monthly newsletter.


Panel 1


Positive and Negative Aesthetics

An aesthetic impact is powerful. From advertising influencing our decisions to political leaders instigating action, aesthetic motivations form a core compulsion of our lives, including for ethical or global issues. People often want to believe that they act only with good reason, since our emotions are frivolous. In “Taste, Foodways, and Everyday Life,” Tim Waterman … Continue reading Positive and Negative Aesthetics

Panel 2


Aesthetics is a central motivation for human action. Yet, we continue to pretend that aesthetics is just an afterthought. Drawing from the history of aesthetics and current research in neuroaesthetics and beyond, ARL offers consulting, research, and speaking to show how aesthetics can make a difference in your work and life.

Featured work includes moderating a webinar on “Art and Aesthetics in the Healthcare Environment” for the project Applied Neuroaesthetics (NY); creating a workshop for the Executive Design Studio, called Is Your Business Beautiful?”(LA/NY); leading a workshop for teens at a nonprofit graphic design studio, Artists for Humanity (BOS); and collaborating on digital fashion and aesthetics with the think tank Fashion Forward (NY).

Panel 3


I’ve taken several classes from Michael Spicher.  I can’t say enough about his abilities. He’s a wonderful teacher and a sensational speaker.  He presents his material in a clear and concise way that makes his subjects understandable and relevant to all his students, no matter their level of prior knowledge or experience.  He’s a personable, articulate man with a terrific sense of humor.  I would go to one of his classes or attend one of his lectures in a heartbeat.

Gary K. Wolf

Creator of Roger Rabbit

Gary K. Wolf – Creator of Roger Rabbit

Michael is an excellent and inspiring speaker. His talk illuminated the value of aesthetics for contemporary business practice, showing how considering beauty is relevant for business competition and success.

Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Director, Center for Integration of Business Education & Humanities (CIBEH)

Stony Brook University

Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Panel 4 Placeholder