7 Year Summary

I started Aesthetics Research Lab (ARL) in 2016 because I sensed that there were people around the world, in unexpected professions and disciplines, who had an affinity toward aesthetics, even if they didn’t know the jargon or theories. I also never understood why my discipline (philosophy) focuses conversations about aesthetics so much on art alone.

I search for and meet people in an array of professions and disciplines who find value in aesthetics. Sometimes it seems like they feel alone in their belief that aesthetics matters for their profession. ARL exists to bring together people and ideas wherever they may be found that further our understanding and application of aesthetics.

I’m happy to say that ARL received almost 500 views in its first year, but we received just over 20,000 views in 2022! It’s safe to say that the work here is being well-received, which is also indicated by the continuous stream of people contacting me to learn more. I thank all of you for your continued support.

It’s worthwhile to showcase some of those ideas here as a reflection on the research and topics that ARL has brought together in one place. Follow the links for more information about these topics.


The Aesthetics of Business. John Dobson explains how and why people should add principles of aesthetics into their business plan and practices.

The Beautiful Business. Tom Morris wrote If Aristotle Ran General Motors to explore how the four transcendentals of Aristotle apply to businesses. Here, I summarize only his section about beauty.

Concerning Organizational Aesthetics. People ask about whether a business is profitable; and now it is becoming more common to ask if a business is ethical. But Steven de Groot thinks it is important to also ask whether a business is beautiful.


Extravagant Evolution highlights how beauty is causing scientists to rethink evolution.

Engineering Aesthetics: Beautifying Practical Solutions explains the need to consider aesthetics as part of solutions in engineering.


Negative Aesthetic Concepts. A common strategy among dictators and other oppressors is to create visceral reactions in their followers against a certain group of people or a belief. These visceral responses prove to be more effective than facts and data.


The Aesthetics of a Prison uses an example in Denmark to show that if people hope to reform incarcerated persons, then we need to add elements of aesthetics into their lives in while in prison.

Quality Improvement for Healthcare. Alan Cribb and Graham Pullin explain why we need to consider aesthetics for quality improvement in the healthcare environment and practices.

Ugliness and Climate Solutions. Wind and solar farms are often scorned because they are perceived as ugly or eyesores. If we want climate solutions to work and become accepted, then we need to apply aesthetics to these solutions.


Beauty: Objective or Subjective. In several works, philosopher Crispin Sartwell explores the longstanding question about whether beauty is objective or subjective. He concludes that it is a false dilemma.

Three Design Conditions of Thomas Aquinas. Proportion, integrity, and radiance comprise, for Aquinas, the three conditions of beauty.


Eating and the Tasteful Subject. In her book, An Archive of Taste: Eating and Race in the Early United States, Lauren Klein explains the idea that people could develop taste as a means of hope for the ‘founders’ of the United States.

Origin of the Golden Ratio. It is common to believe that the ancient Greeks invented the Golden Ration, but Audrey Bennett provides evidence that it had origins in ancient Africa.

Architecture & Design

The Beauty of Green Design. You can have green design or good design, but not both. This belief infiltrates the field of architecture, but architect Lance Hosey argues for the opposite. He claimed that you cannot have sustainable design, if it isn’t beautiful.

Aesthetics and Usability. If something functions well, then people will judge its appearance, according to Pedro Canhenha. Aesthetics matters for design.

Aesthetics and New Product Design. The BOLTGROUP explains that aesthetics needs to be part of new product design from the beginning.

These selected articles represent only a small amount of the research of the last seven years. For the sake of space, I haven’t included here work that we’ve done for fashion (including digital fashion), the metaverse, the beauty industry, and some other areas. However, this overview hopefully provides a taste of the ways that aesthetics infiltrates many aspects of our professional and personal lives.

Please contact me (michaelrspicher@gmail.com), if you have suggestions or ideas about what I should add to ARL’s collection of research. Also, let me know if you would like to write an entry for ARL, and we can discuss it.

Thanks again for all those who support this project, and I look forward to what happens in the next seven years!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s