Dynamics of Performing Aesthetics in Architecture: A Critical Study
Keywords:aesthetics, beauty, environmental psychology, architecture, aesthetic performance
In architecture, Venustas (aesthetics) is always considered an important attribute along with Firmitas (firmness) and Utilitas (usefulness). Pursuing aesthetics/ beauty is one of the architect’s primary roles. However, it is critical to comprehend ‘What is aesthetics?’ and its implications for the built-unbuilt environment and human beings. In a world where everything is changing, are the definitions, concepts, and parameters of aesthetics consistent? Is it subject to change over time? If so, should architectural students and professionals be aware of it and trained in it? This study aims to critically assess and analyse the dynamic aspects of aesthetics from 3300 BCE to present and establish the ‘best fit’ definition of aesthetics in architecture. The methodology used for the study is a mixed-method approach, a comprehensive analysis of relevant literature to investigate the origin of aesthetics and aesthetics in philosophy, environmental psychology and architecture. The aspects, criteria and sub-criteria identified from the analysis. The consensus is taken from expert interviews and a questionnaire survey (n=72). Findings reveal that aesthetics in architecture is dynamic/ ever-changing. It has nine contributing aspects that make aesthetics a performing aesthetics that emphasises the enhanced worth and value for money invested. These nine aspects are spatial organisation, functional efficiency, social, psychological, environmental, maintenance, sustainability, technology, and economics.
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