Quantitative Aesthetics

In 2015 I started to work on an agenda for Architecture and Performative Design at the Städelschule Architecture Class with the aim to embrace aesthetics as an additional performative criteria in computational architectural design. For too long the architectural digital design community at large have assumed that the inherent algorithmic order yields aesthetic value.

The research is rooted in the work Gustav Theodor Fechner, who laid the foundations for an inductive aesthetic perspective by empiric experimental research, Vorschule der Ästhetik (1876). In 1933 George D. Birkhoff first proposed a quantifiable aesthetic value for simple shapes. Today we start to see the concept of Aesthetic Complexity finding its way into the discourse on aesthetics. It focuses on larger compositions of elements using a computational approach.

The ongoing research seeks to extend the findings by Guy Birkin on Aesthetic Complexity to a spatial architectural setting. Birkin proposes a framework for measuring visual complexity by correlating it with image compression. The transfer to a spatial domain in done by linking the perceived level of detail to the distance to between viewer and object.

There are possible links to be made to the findings of empirical aesthetics in music and literature by Menninghaus / Wald-Fuhrmann at the MPI for Empirical Aesthetic

The ongoing research was presented in a lecture at the Städelschule, January 14. 2016.

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