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Beauty and functionality combined are (good) Design. When something does not work as expected, we agree it is not well designed. When something is less beautiful… it is probably less well designed. But

what is “beautiful”?

The more symmetrical a face is, the more beautiful it is, as in appealing to the viewer’s perception. However, 100% symmetrical faces are not the most beautiful because they are “perfect”, so the eye perceives something is “wrong”. Thus,  is beauty  uniqueness? Well, ugly is unique. There are not two identical ugly things. Maybe it is something which is close to an ideal but still feels real. But

what is “ideal”?

It is obvious to everyone what the beauty canons are. Slim, minimal, rounded corners, you name it. Nonetheless, it seems to be a different idea of ideal from one epoch to an other. During the Baroque, lots of details and charged interfaces where considered the ideal. In the Ancient Greece, fat people were considered more attractive (because it was a sign of wealth. Even today, different cultures have different ideals. For instance, in South East Asia having a tanned skin is a sign of working in the fields, thus poverty; whereas in Europe it is exactly the opposite, because it is a sign of free time, thus wealth.

Also, not so long ago, squared edges were appealing, they looked futuristic. Now, rounded edges! Why? Because when something becomes a commodity, it cannot be innovative and unique anymore. So ideals and beauty are always in constant swinging back and forth just to be different from what is established. It is unique and new.

So it looks like as if beautiful was something that says “I am wealthy and special”. It probably has a lot to do with the human primitive brain. The unconscious and animal instinct which is fighting for survival and species continuation.

Think about it.

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