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Aesthetics: The Latest Architecture and News

Democratizing Architecture vs. Aesthetic Apartheid Architecture

Architecture has long been a profession in aesthetic apartheid. The profession’s favored aesthetic, Modernism, has relegated all other “styles” to marginalized insignificance in laud, teaching and publication. The last generation has seen those following an aesthetic deemed “traditional” create an entirely separate system of schools, awards and publication.

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Sustainability: The New Aesthetic Order

In the history of architecture the concept of beauty has always been linked to different factors that represent, mainly, the values of society in a given period. The zeitgeist is certainly crucial to these definitions, so something that was once considered beautiful in the past is likely to be given another connotation nowadays. In this sense, aesthetic preferences in architecture seem to be linked to symbolic references implicit in the construction itself and in its relation with the world. They are preferences that express convictions, ideologies and positions, as well as moral, religious, political feelings and, of course, class status symbols.

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Burnt Cement vs Porcelain Tile: Resignifying Aesthetics in Architecture

The concept of aesthetics goes back to the Greek civilization and refers to perception through the senses. Despite being a philosophical concept, in architecture, aesthetics is used to translate architectural ideologies and concepts from the set of constructive elements, forms and materials, being intrinsically linked to the physical shape of a building and, therefore, bound to a social, economic and political context. In addition to a discussion of tastes, architectural aesthetics is a source of historical reading and analysis.

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Creating Architectural Value through Aesthetics

Humans try very hard to make the inexplicable understood. Our spirituality becomes religion. Fairness becomes law. And what delights us becomes aesthetics, and aesthetics are dumbed down to “style” in fine arts and architecture. The description, then definition, of aesthetics enables us to judge, and hopefully, control what thrills us: "Styles may change, details may come and go, but the broad demands of aesthetic judgement are permanent". -- Roger Scruton

But the instant delight we sometimes feel when we hear, taste, think or see parts of our experience is unreasoned in its apprehension. We try to create value in our outcomes by defining them beyond experience – that is aesthetics.

Architecture is Human: But Beauty is Found Everywhere

"Image of El Molo Hut. Turkana, Kenya via Shutterstock
"Image of El Molo Hut. Turkana, Kenya via Shutterstock

If Nature had been comfortable, mankind would never have invented architecture. - Oscar Wilde

Architecture is human. Despite their exquisite beauty,  burrows, hives, nests and anthills are creations of instinct.  Design by humans considers options, means and methods of creation, solving problems of desire, beyond functional accommodations.

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A 2021 Moment In Architecture That May Define The Future

Some years end up being cultural pivot points. 2021 was one such year, with COVID-19 as the first existential threat to our culture since World War II. Architecture will change as a result, and may evolve in public perception to value motivations as a criteria for understanding it, versus valuing outcomes as the validation of any particular aesthetic.

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Architecture and the Environmental Impact of Artificial Complexity

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

There is an astonishing degree of complexity, order, and beauty in the natural world. Even so, and especially within the realm of living things, nothing is more complex than it needs to be to sustain its existence. Every aspect of the system serves a purpose. If it does not, the unneeded component eventually ceases to exist in future generations. Even with these constraints of resource and energy efficiency, we find boundless beauty and harmony in the natural world. Contrast nature’s “just the right amount of complexity” to the way many architects design buildings today. While nature is only as complex as it needs to be, architects and designers add excessive and inessential complexity to their buildings and landscapes when none is warranted.

Color Beyond Aesthetics: The Psychology of Green in Interior Spaces

How many changes have you done to your interior space during this past year? Whether it was a change of furniture layout, repainting the walls, adding more light fixtures or perhaps even removing them, after spending so much time in one place, the space you were once used to didn’t make sense anymore. We could blame the overall situation for how we’ve been feeling lately, but as a matter of fact, the interior environment plays a huge role in how we feel or behave as well. However, if you were wondering why some neighbors seem much more undisturbed and serene even in the midst of a pandemic, it could be because the interior is greener on the other side.

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When Machines Design: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Aesthetics

Are machines capable of design? Though a persistent question, it is one that increasingly accompanies discussions on architecture and the future of artificial intelligence. But what exactly is AI today? As we discover more about machine learning and generative design, we begin to see that these forms of "intelligence" extend beyond repetitive tasks and simulated operations. They've come to encompass cultural production, and in turn, design itself.

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