Mark Foster Gage, from the Yale University School of Architecture and Gage Clemenceau, has put together a wonderful collection of text that together shed light on the various ideas about beauty through history. Gage’s added commentary helps relate each of the text to contemporary thinking on architecture and design. The text range from Plato, Aristotle, Vitruvius to Nehamas and Zangwill. (I, personally, found the last piece by David Freedberg and Vittorio Gallese very intriguing. It bridges many of the theoretical positions with advancements in cognitive science.) If you are interested in the theoretical side of architecture but don’t where to start or you prefer the practical side over the theoretical this book is a good one to have under your belt. It gives you the basics from which you can expand upon, if you are so inclined.
You can see an ArchDaily interview with Gage here, and some of his work here.
007 Preface 013 Acknowledgments 015 Introductions 029 Plato 045 Aristotle 065 Marcus Vitruvius Pollio 073 Leon Battista Alberti 081 Immanuel Kant 093 Edmund Burke 115 Conrad Fiedler 137 Friedrich Nietzsche 149 Oscar Wilde 153 Henri Bergson 161 Clive Bell 179 Geoffrey Scott 197 Walter Benjamin 211 Georges Bataille 225 Susan Sontag 249 Frederic Jameson 265 Elaine Scarry 279 Alexander Nehamas 291 Nick Zangwill 301 David Freedberg and Vittorio Gallese 325 Index