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

Taste: Universal and Cultural

Beauty is the eye of the beholder. Regardless of what truth is contained in that statement, it is far too simple. The most common argument (not necessarily the best) is the a version of the following: people disagree about which objects are beautiful; therefore, beauty must be wholly subjective. And one's taste is subjective by … Continue reading Taste: Universal and Cultural

Fleeting Beauty

Every year, thousands of people flock to the first public beach in America, Revere Beach (est. 1896) for the International Sand-Sculpting Festival. These are wonderfully complicated works that sculptors create in a short time, and they don't last very long. Shortly after the festival is over, the sand sculptures disappear. “SHELLter" by Jonathan (Jobi) Bouchard … Continue reading Fleeting Beauty

Beauty and Morality

When we first see the elephant man without his burlap mask in David Lynch's 1980 film, our first impression is that he is ugly. We then come to understand throughout the movie that he is a beautiful person. This extreme example represents the confusion in which we often find ourselves between morality and beauty. People … Continue reading Beauty and Morality

Negative Aesthetic Concepts

Aesthetic experiences are powerful. They can help us remember particular moments by creating a sensual account in our memory. But they can also help us when we are describing an amazing experience, situation, or object to someone else. Basically, the aesthetic aspects we encounter enhance whatever else we may be experiencing. Sometimes it is the … Continue reading Negative Aesthetic Concepts

Can Beauty Save the World?

I remember hearing that Dostoevsky, in his book The Idiot, has a character utter the expression, "Beauty will save the world." I immediately liked this expression, if for no other reason than hoping it might be true. Years later, I finally got around to read The Idiot. I kept waiting with anticipation for the famous line … Continue reading Can Beauty Save the World?

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

Review of Wandering in the Land of Oblivion

The Urbano Project in Jamaica Plain (Boston) has a wonderful show by artist Constanza Aguirre, on view from November 9, 2018 through January 11, 2019. Her art explores the relationship that people have with work. What happens when displaced people are thereby prevented from working? Do they become less human?  In my art review (see … Continue reading Review of Wandering in the Land of Oblivion

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