AESTHETICS: FROM NATURE TO ENGINEERING AND BACK
AbstractAesthetics rises in XVIII Century involving the inner and the senses of the subject. The bipolar couple beautiful/ugly is no more enough to define new emerging aesthetic experiences of agreeable, charming, interesting, sublime... Traditional models of Perfection (based on metron, nomos, logos, eurhythmy, symmetry, once centrepieces of the metaphysics of beauty) are soon overruled: irrational, disgusting, ugliness, darkness, mystery, shadow, troubled, dreadful, perturbing gain wide and independent spaces. Time, body, proximity senses, geographic, naturalistic and technological discoveries and inventions are among the factors of this turning point that go with the development of aesthetics. Rising and growing modern science, new technology and engineering determine a deep crisis in the aesthetic vision of nature, art, world, but also offer the references to build a new cultural and existential frame. In particular, actual engineering contributes to quality of life and offer explanations and demonstrations about how and because a thing or an action can satisfy our aesthetic sense, meant in a wide acceptation. As example we use the geometry of road and its curves and we compare this with structures we find in Nature. We use curves whose curvature changes along their development. They are very suitable to show how science and technology have dispelled the classic idea of perfection (based on quite, simple, exactly defined shapes as circle or square) and have contributed to build a new kind of aesthetic taste that understands and appreciates less defined and more problematic ones, coming from different laws.
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