Why are Aesthetics Important?

A fun question I have been thinking of: why are aesthetics important?


Well first of all, I think aesthetics are the root of all artwork. Technically art doesn’t have any practical/functional purpose. A painting won’t mill barley for you, a painting won’t answer your email for you, and a painting won’t mow your lawn for you.

A painting, picture, or any piece of artwork is valuable to human beings, because it evokes happiness, joy, a sense of wonder, awe, and beauty in the mind of the beholder.


Aesthetics are everywhere and everything. For example, the aesthetics of trees are my favorite. Note that a tree starts from the ground, with the trunk, then grows higher and higher, on a “fractal” pattern. As the tree’s branches get taller they also go wider. Also consider that a tree grows equally as tall downwards; the roots are the antithesis to the branches, and both are essential to the strength, growth, and power of the tree!

Or consider the first natural “sculpture” of mountains, cliffs, or rock formations. Thousands of years of waves pounding against the stone, or through wind, weather, snow, and other natural elements, we are left with beautiful jagged edges of beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes.

Now, we humans try to do the same. We try to evoke beauty in colors by imitating nature; I see Hermes scarves with color palettes of flamingos or peacocks, I see Lamborghinis, Porsche, and Maserati cars designed after sharks, tigers, panthers, and other fierce beasts. Consider the “teeth” grille analogy of a car, which looks like a beast about to bite.


Aesthetics make our lives better.

Consider the aesthetics of your home, your clothes, your electronic devices, your cars, your office or work environment, the aesthetics or architecture of a bar or restaurant, and even the aesthetics of human culture and ceremonies (consider how beautiful the outfits of traditional ceremonies and weddings are).


There’s some people who say that it doesn’t matter how something look, only how it functions.

Oh how I disagree with that sentiment!

Imagine your home was designed exactly like a McDonald’s. I think you’re likely to go insane; with the ugly plastic red-yellow chairs, the faded grin of the pseudo statues of Ronald McDonald, and of course, the yellow faded plaster all around the walls.


My friend John taught me, if it looks good it, it works “good”.

For example, lots of car designers and airplane designers know with intuition, which curves “look good” to make a car “look right”. And generally to these sculptors, what is seen as aesthetically appealing to them works well.


Are aesthetics universal, or subjective?

Curious question,

Are aesthetics universal or subjective?

For myself, I think there are some aesthetically universal beautiful things like most things in nature. Yet then again, we see sprawling forests as beautiful now, yet in the past, we might have seen them with fright.

For the most part, I think most aesthetics are subjective. For example I find minimalism and cities as beautiful; others see it as ugly.

So thinking about aesthetics, for ourselves we must cultivate our own taste, and not be ashamed of our own taste!

And for the most part, we can categorize almost everything as “ugly” or “beautiful” in our eyes.


To conclude, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are aesthetics important to you? If so, why? If not, why not?
  2. How do aesthetics affect your mood?
  3. What’s your personal theory on aesthetics? What’s your personal aesthetic “style”?
  4. What do you consider ugly or beautiful?

Share your thoughts in ERIC KIM FORUM >

ERIC

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