The Beauty of Chance

I was forwarded an interview with a poker player named Maria Konnikova. Most of the interview involved her approach to poker, but the interviewer (Kevin Berger) led her into a discussion of the skill-versus-chance debate. While many top players insist that poker is a game of skill, Konnikova agrees but adds that there is always … Continue reading The Beauty of Chance

Engineering Aesthetics: Beautifying Practical Solutions

Engineering, we might think, is simply the application of math and science to solve practical problems. However, there exists an intimate connection with aesthetics. Rolf Faste—in his article "The Role of Aesthetics in Engineering"—mentions that the word 'aesthetics' has its origins in ancient Greek with the idea of sense perception. To understand the importance, he … Continue reading Engineering Aesthetics: Beautifying Practical Solutions

The Aesthetics of a Prison

Whether prison is supposed to punish people or reform them is an endless and tiring discussion. But either way, it seems that once people have "paid their debt," we have to at least allow them the chance to become decent members of society again. There's a strong stereotype that someone is made even worse by … Continue reading The Aesthetics of a Prison

Three Design Conditions of Thomas Aquinas

The concept of design entered new arenas in contemporary society. Design in traditional fields, like architecture, has clearly changed as exemplified by modern architectural feats. And design has entered areas that didn't even exist years ago, like web design. With new developments and changes in culture, design demonstrates those change. However, there are some principles of design that … Continue reading Three Design Conditions of Thomas Aquinas

Aesthetics and Usability

Pedro Canhenha wrote a short article called "Aesthetic, Visual Design & Usability" for UX Planet (CLICK HERE), in which he provides an overview of the relationship between aesthetics and design. Functional contexts, such as design and architecture, have a job to do. If they fail to work properly and efficiently, then they are not made … Continue reading Aesthetics and Usability

Consumer Taste

Theories of aesthetic taste have been developed in the fields of philosophy, psychology, and sociology. But market and consumer research has not spent as much time developing theories of aesthetics taste to put into their different practices. Wayne D. Hoyer and Nicola E. Stokburger-Sauer opened this discussion in their article, "The Role of Aesthetic Taste … Continue reading Consumer Taste

Extravagant Evolution

Natural selection is the process organisms adapt to their environment to give them a better chance at survival. Though he proposed and defended this theory, Charles Darwin did not believe it could explain everything. That's why he also proposed sexual selection, by which he meant that females choose the most appealing males and males evolve … Continue reading Extravagant Evolution

Review of Temple of Mnemon

Here is my review of Temple of Mnemon, a sculpture by Anne Lilly that was installed on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston from the summer to October of 2018. This review was published in Big Red & Shiny, Boston's contemporary art journal online. The opening paragraph of the review: Part of what makes us … Continue reading Review of Temple of Mnemon

Aesthetics for Teens!

On August 16, 2017, I led a workshop called Philosophy of Design: Aesthetics to the Graphic Design Studio at Artist for Humanity. First of all, if you don't know about them, you will be inspired to learn more. They employ about 150 teenagers to learn and make art. They all begin in the painting studio … Continue reading Aesthetics for Teens!

Details that Matter

Michael Bond has written a piece for the BBC discussing the hidden ways that architecture can affect our well-being. Drawing from current studies from neuroscience and psychology, Bond examines how small details on buildings can have a big affect on people. One notable study, conducted by Colin Ellard, showed that people are negatively affected by … Continue reading Details that Matter