aesthetic, how?

much emphasize is put on the aesthetic of design…

  • but how can one understand aesthetic?
  • what does it mean when the design is aesthetic? to make designs beautiful?
  • target for aesthetic designs? consumers? producers? or just other designers?

as a student, my designs might be aesthetic, but it is meaningless if i cannot completely grasp the concept of it… please help.

anyone recommend reading materials on aesthetics?


“Watches tell more than Time”

“Emotional Design”

thanks Yo, i checked out the links, but they are not exactly what i am looking for. based on those links, are you suggesting that aesthetics will conjure emotions?

they always will.

Also check out:

"The Substance of Style : How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness "

one attempt to answer your question

but how can one understand aesthetic?

and some links to analysis of Eames work w.r.t. aesthetics and business sensemaking

this begs the quote from Buckminster Fuller on beautiful solutions to problems

and really, you should be doing your own research

A good way to “understand aesthetic” (as well as communicate it to others) is to create style boards and “aesthetic region maps” which align styles two dimensionally on the axis descriptors of your choice (like soft/hard, high-tech/low-tech, complex/simple etc…) Aesthetic is cultural and contextual, but there are designs which seem to broadly cross culture and context–these are the designs that frequently labeled as “aesthetic.”

Ask your instructors, and read the books Yo mentioned.

aesthetics thats a tough one…i think first you should understand the basics as in the relationships between mathematics and form, like the Gestalt theory or da Vinci’s drawings. however i think that the best thing you can do is to pay attention to your own senses and perceptions. how does a certain product or form make you feel and why. look at all the characteristics of that product, does it have strait lines or curves? are the colors bright or subtle, cool or hot? what texture does it have? what are your expectations of that paticular shape, texture, line or product? what kind of sound you expect from that object? ive never driven a ferrari but i bet i can tell you what it sounds like when i turn the ignition. if you watch how a child examines their surroundings, they touch, bang, examine, throw, taste, smell, destroy and asemble almost every object they encounter. try to mimic this behavior when trying to understand what an object should look like. a great designer i know found a small orange interior light in the roof of a Cooper S that puts a subtle highlight on the chrome dash details. i was quite amazed at his discovery. i once found that you cant open the hood of the hummer H2 with the winch in place. i think a good exercise for you is to cross reference your senses. what shape is the sound of a pin drop? or a car crash? what is the sound and shape of chocolate or the sound of a habanero pepper?
i think if you read a lot of material on the subject of aesthetics you wont be any closer to understanding it, but if you pay attention to your own senses and perception of the objects that surround you that is understanding.

aesthetics is directly related to material and technology. if you design an object first then try to find the material for it then your work is more like imaginative artists who do special effects, scene design, or sci-fi/action movies, or comic books.

those artists design those objects, whether consciously or subconsciously, to create momentum in the scene, movie, or comic books.

you could do the same in design but you first have to understand the functionality of the object before you apply this momentum. it could come from anything like something as simple as a hand made kite.

finally it’s important to consider that even if you achieve great lattitude in aesthetics but your design performs poorlly, then you have actually done very little design.