The science of why we love beautiful things

Posted on by Laura Hamlyn

There are some designs that are so interesting, our brain makes us instinctively reach out to touch them. This melding of science and design reminds me of an article I read about how Angelina Jolie's (obvious) beauty is also scientifically proven to be appealing to humans--something about the distance between her eyes and symmetry in her features. 

If you're interested in the science of design, the New York Times published a post in their Grey Matter column called "Why We Love Beautiful Things" by Lance Hosey, chief sustainability officer of the architecture firm, RTKL. 

The article covers fractals, and if you've explored them at all, you'll realize that nature buffs and mathematicians alike can agree on the primal power of repetitive and seemingly perfect shapes and patterns. I worked with a designer who created a logo based on fractals, and it was an incredible success.

I'd venture to guess that one of the most common causes of burnout in creative fields is the lack of objectivity. That's why it's critical that writers, designers, and their advocates collect this type of scientific ammo that can be used to guide discussions about creative work toward a more objective solution.

Also, what you might consider instinct is actually the product of years of study and analysis. So if you find a solution to a problem in minutes, that doesn't prove that the creative process requires less time, it means your constant study of your craft helped you get to a solution sooner. You did the time, you simply got a head start.

Also, you might want to paint some rooms green!