Aesthetics and New Product Design

The BOLTGROUP, located in Charlotte, NC, offers some insight into when in the design process should people consider aesthetics. The short answer is right away. On their website, they offer a slew of insightful articles about design practice and other ideas. One short essay, called "When to Address Aesthetics in Your NPD Process," stood out. … Continue reading Aesthetics and New Product Design

What is Aesthetic Taste?

Theories of taste ran rampant in the eighteenth century, but things have settled down a bit in academic circles. Despite all the books on aesthetics, few people (if any) have offered new theories of aesthetic taste. Yet we live in a time where the exercise of taste has become quite pervasive. Content creators and audiences … Continue reading What is Aesthetic Taste?

The Beautiful Business

Tom Morris, philosopher to the business world, wrote an excellent book a while back called, If Aristotle Ran General Motors. The title, as he notes early on, is meant to be more symbolic than literal, with Aristotle standing in for philosophy and General Motors standing in for any business. What Morris presents is a way … Continue reading The Beautiful Business

On Aesthetic Intelligence

In 2009, Rochelle Mucha published her book exploring "aesthetic intelligence." Mucha appeals to the origin of the word 'aesthetics,' rather than its current use in disciplines like philosophy. Aesthetics referred to the knowledge gained by the senses. Part of the motivation of her book is to show the value of getting all of our senses … Continue reading On Aesthetic Intelligence

On Cuteness

Guest post by P. Winston Fettner Cuteness, it seems, is more important than it's been given credit for. It's place in evolutionary aesthetics is essential, not only for its role in developing Darwinian and empirical approaches to aesthetics, but also in the application of evolutionary aesthetics to ethics, even suggesting a contribution to the ethics … Continue reading On Cuteness

Beauty: Objective or Subjective

Historically, philosophers wrote systems of philosophy that tried to connect the different branches—metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy—unifying the branches top each other. Steadily in the twentieth century, the academy became hyper-specialized. A few have attempted to systematically look at philosophy as whole again, as illustrated by Crispin Sartwell's 2017 book, Entanglements: A System … Continue reading Beauty: Objective or Subjective

Dislike and Taste

When discussing taste, we often speak about good or bad taste as if they are passively present in a person. "You either have good taste, or you don't." But what we choose to experience, and either like or dislike, is part of the process of developing taste. What it means to dislike something has not … Continue reading Dislike and Taste

Eating and the Tasteful Subject

One of the more fascinating books I’ve read recently is Lauren F. Klein’s An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States. Klein writes that “in the late colonial era and into the early republic, America’s cultural and political leaders identified a causal relation between the cultivation of the American palate and … Continue reading Eating and the Tasteful Subject

Taste Maps for Brands

For brands to stay relevant and successful, learning the tastes of customers is imperative. Taste influences how people see and act in the world. Taste is a reflection of our selves and a way to see what other people value. This idea led Stephen Bayley to describe taste as "a window and a mirror." "The … Continue reading Taste Maps for Brands

Disgust, Morality, and Negative Aesthetics

Disgust is a basic emotion that has served a useful purpose for our survival. Louise Fabiani explores this idea in her article, "Is Disgust Related to Morality?" While people have a natural caution when around too many people (physical crowds), that changes when we are connected to the crowd (psychological crowds) through religious observance or … Continue reading Disgust, Morality, and Negative Aesthetics