The Evolving Science of Design

Researchers are beginning to understand how the human brain is hard-wired to respond to certain patterns, colors, and proportions. The result is "a revolution in the science of design," says Lance Hosey, and "most people...aren’t even aware of it."

German researchers have shown that "shades of green can boost creativity and motivation;" a Duke University professor has demonstrated the rationale behind the "golden rectangle;" and "optimal fractal density" may explain the appeal of Jackson Pollock's paintings. Hosey, the chief sustainability officer at the architecture firm RTKL, discusses "why we love beautiful things" in this essay for The New York Times.

"It should come as no surprise that good design, often in very subtle ways, can have such dramatic effects. After all, bad design works the other way: poorly designed computers can injure your wrists, awkward chairs can strain your back and over-bright lighting and computer screens can fatigue your eyes."

"We think of great design as art, not science, a mysterious gift from the gods, not something that results just from diligent and informed study. But if every designer understood more about the mathematics of attraction, the mechanics of affection, all design — from houses to cellphones to offices and cars — could both look good and be good for you."

Full Story: Why We Love Beautiful Things

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