Quotidian Aesthetics: The Design Paradigm

I have long-believed that aesthetics should be part of our everyday lives, and then philosophers started publishing books and articles about this idea I took for granted. However, I see that the literature in aesthetics did not always warrant such a conclusion, especially with an overwhelming focus on the arts. The "Everyday Aesthetics" movement in … Continue reading Quotidian Aesthetics: The Design Paradigm

Agriculture and Aesthetics

The animal only fashions things according to the standards and needs of the species it belongs to, whereas man knows how to produce according to the measure of every species and knows everywhere how to apply its inherent standard to the object: thus man also fashions things according to the laws of beauty.Karl Marx Aesthetics … Continue reading Agriculture and Aesthetics

Aesthetics Versus Philosophy of Art

It has become increasingly common to use the word 'aesthetics' when really talking about art. While it is true that many works of art are beautiful or have other aesthetic properties, most people claim to deny that aesthetics is a necessary component of art. One just has to think about Marcel Duchamp's Fountain (1917); he claimed … Continue reading Aesthetics Versus Philosophy of Art

The Aesthetics of Business

An aesthetic judgment, according to John Dobson, consists of five elements: disinterest, subjectivity, inclusivity, contemplativity, and internality. In his article "Aesthetics as a Foundation for Business Activity" (2007, Journal of Business Ethics), Dobson explains how businesses today need to consider aesthetics in their business practices. People (i.e., consumers) are no longer satisfied with the simple logical, … Continue reading The Aesthetics of Business

Leaf-Peeping: The Search for the Aesthetic

When gas prices rise, people become less inclined to simply go for a drive that doesn't have a specific purpose other than its own delight. But one kind of drive that doesn't serve any practical purposes that people regularly take (each fall) is a trip to see autumn foliage. People from suburbs and cities alike … Continue reading Leaf-Peeping: The Search for the Aesthetic

Elegance in Japanese Art: Reflections on Cultural Changes

Beauty is not as different among cultures as it often appears. Proportion (or harmony), for example, has been an important characteristic of beauty since ancient Greece, despite all the changes and iterations it has undergone. As one culture is influenced by another culture’s view of beauty, they don’t have to abandon their original view. They … Continue reading Elegance in Japanese Art: Reflections on Cultural Changes

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

The Rising Stairs of Beauty

One goes always upwards for the sake of this Beauty, starting out from beautiful things and using them like rising stairs. - Plato, Symposium, 211c In the Summer 2017 issue of ArchitectureBoston, Michael Spicher presents some philosophical reflections on striving for beauty, even though we may not have a perfect definition of it. For the article … Continue reading The Rising Stairs of Beauty

Know Yourself! (… and your Body)

Recently I took a trip with my wife to Budapest. On our way back to the States, we had a stop in Germany. At the terminal, we sensed that we were in the presence of Americans. Did we see their blue and gold passports? No. Did we hear them speak and recognize their accents? No. … Continue reading Know Yourself! (… and your Body)