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Saturday, July 1, 2006

Theorizing aesthetics

I have always had an idea of theorizing aesthetics. I believe that aesthetic judgement, though seemingly abstract, can be quantified. And through the discovery of these aesthetics principals, it is possible to create aesthetic composition through programmatic algorithms.

Designers don't like this view of the world. The larger part of the design community, will in fact tell you that designers should be ashamed of themselves if their designs were formed by theory. I, on the other hand, believe that aided with such tool, it will provide enormous advantages in realizing a design.

The music community has created many variants of algorithm-based music generators. Artists have long utilize color theories in their paintings. Itten, from the Bauhaus, wrote a monumental book called The Art of Color on the subject matter. The language of architecture and urban planning was eloquently catalogued in Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language. This book on architecture has in turn inspired four programmers (Gang of Four) to write a book called Design Patterns, which revolutionized the object-oriented programming space.

So why is the design community so afraid of composition theories?

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