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

Ugliness and Climate Solutions

How aesthetics impacts our decision-making is often ignored or overlooked. Some researchers, for example, have claimed that our feelings (i.e., aesthetic responses) account for 85 percent of our decision-making for retail purchases. Another example from clothing helps to illustrate this point further. In Everyday Aesthetics, Yuriko Saito describes how natural fibers, such as wool and … Continue reading Ugliness and Climate Solutions

Concerning Organizational Aesthetics

John Dewey wrote about the disconnect that was forged between aesthetics and everyday. He describes how artistic practices were once part of the daily life of individuals in different communities. Dewey wanted to reconnect the aesthetic to the everyday, including our jobs. It is with this framework in mind that I present some ideas from … Continue reading Concerning Organizational Aesthetics

Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 2

A previous post discussed the importance of considering aesthetics in business from the book Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond by Pauline Brown. I wanted to follow up that entry with some insights from this book on how to develop aesthetic intelligence, specifically how to better curate your … Continue reading Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 2

Attention to Beauty

In his book, Aesthetics: A Very Short Introduction, Bence Nanay writes, "What all things aesthetic have in common is something very simple: the way you're exercising your attention" (p.22). To illustrate what he means, Nanay uses as an example the painting The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Landscape with the Fall of … Continue reading Attention to Beauty

'Vivaldi for Gorillas': Seeking Aesthetics in Adversity

Guest Post by Venkat Ramanan While held prisoner in Auschwitz, the Italian writer Primo Levi, in an effort to keep himself anchored, tried to recall all the cantos of Dante’s The Divine Comedy and explicate its intricacies to his fellow inmates. There were, naturally, gaps in Levi’s memory. He got frustrated with this lapse and … Continue reading 'Vivaldi for Gorillas': Seeking Aesthetics in Adversity

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

Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 1

Beauty, and aesthetics more generally, is often considered to be nonessential. A pragmatic person may think aesthetics are unimportant, if something works. A humanitarian may think what's really important is that people are fed, clothed, and sheltered. A medical person may believe that health is the key concern for people. While all these elements are … Continue reading Aesthetic Intelligence, Part 1

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