Does Evolution Explain the Popularity of Frank Gehry's Designs?

Apparently there may be a subconscious reason why so many people are attracted to the architecture of Frank Gehry. Using magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have found that our brains are hard-wired to enjoy curvilinear forms.

In a study published earlier this year that's unlikely to surprise anyone familiar with Komar and Melamid's People's Choice project, a research team led by psychologist Oshin Vartanian of the University of Toronto at Scarborough, "reported that test participants were far more likely to consider a room beautiful when it was flush with curves rather than full of straight lines," writes Eric Jaffe.

And those preferences shared a common physiological pathway. "Turns out people looking at curved design had significantly more activity in a brain area called the anterior cingulate cortex, compared to people who were looking at linear decorations," he explains. "The ACC has many cognitive functions, but one is especially noteworthy in the context of Vartanian's study: its involvement in emotion."

Full Story: Why Our Brains Love Curvy Architecture


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