• rm@rmbastien.com

Beauty in All Creations

Beauty in All Creations

In the world of buildings, the importance of architectural beauty is rarely questioned.  Well-designed buildings inspire us, comfort us, and ignite seldom felt emotions.  The widely recognized merit of beauty is, in part, founded on the fact that human constructions are tangible creations. We live in them, work in them, and look at them.  We can relate the design to what we see or know and understand the value of beauty.

The Many Faces of Beauty

This very interesting video, sent to me by Wolfgang Göbl,  is an emotionally compelling reminder that beauty can take many forms.  But just because beauty can take many forms does not mean that it is anything. If beauty can be anything, it loses its significance. Something repulsive or ugly is not beautiful just because someone, somewhere may find beauty in it.

Beauty is Important

This video is also a reminder that beauty is far-reaching.  Having been designing for a few decades now, I feel compelled to make a bold statement about it:  beauty should be a sought after attribute in everything that is worth the time and effort to be designed.  

And that’s not just me saying that after some sort of epiphany.  Business architecture expert Mike Rosen once reminded me that back in 40 BC, Marcus Vitruvius postulated that all buildings should have three attributes: firmitasutilitas, and venustas, which could be translated to durability, utility and beauty

The Many Names of Beauty

I use thesaurus.com every day, so,  I searched for the related meanings of the word beauty.  I found that one of the synonym tabs was labelled advantage.  That’s interesting, I thought.  I clicked on  ‘advantage’  and a world of related meanings appeared: feature, importance, value, asset, attraction, benefit, blessing, boon, merit, and worth. 

These synonyms  and the video remind us that beauty is not just visual and can be found in the value that something brings. Isn’t that beautiful?

Beauty in the Intangible Creations

The designs that architects create for information systems and digital technology solutions are chiefly abstract and not visual.  Saying that what you see on your computer screen is just the tip of the iceberg is an understatement.  These designs are impossible to relate to for any user of the system. In fact, these designs are hard to link to for the majority of computer-literate geeks that work in one IT field or another. That’s why beauty in these types of designs is not just a hard sell; it is often viewed by the uninitiated as a ludicrous quest rooted in some form of designer’s vanity. 

But it’s there.  Some information technology designs bear beauty because they bring value, asset, attraction, benefit, resilience, intelligence or wisdom.   

Beauty in All Designs

I strongly believe that the quality criteria for architecture and design in information technology creations needs to include beauty.  A corollary of this belief is that those who declare themselves designers or architects should understand the importance of beauty, what beauty means for their design, and seek to achieve it… or else leave it to others that care.

Follow me:
rmbastien

You must be logged in to post a comment.