Lucía Jiménez Sánchez: "The Aesthetics of Design"

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

Lucía Jiménez Sánchez, University of Murcia: "The Aesthetics of Design"

The aesthetics of design has recently come to light as a new field within traditional Aesthetics. This theory acknowledges the importance of design objects as appropriate objects for aesthetic appreciation; being design a traditionally neglected discipline of inquiry. Following Jane Forsey’s aesthetic theory of design, I will argue that design possesses a particular kind of value. The aesthetic value of design as design has to do with the way we engage with design objects in our daily lives. Firstly, I will focus on design objects that stand out for their material form and that, nevertheless, have a practical function. These two elements constitute the aesthetic dimension of design objects. From there, I will look at what is known as the integral relationship between form and function. This relation is going to be central to design aesthetic judgments. In the second part of the presentation, we will see how design aesthetic value can be understood from a functional beauty approach. In fact, philosophers such as Forsey have given a special account for design judgements within a functionalist view. For her, these are dependent beauty judgements. However, I will conclude that any kind of functional beauty judgement tends to overlook the intentional, expressive, and, cognitive aspects of our design practices. For this reason, I suggest that this type of judgement might be unable to account for the full aesthetic value of design.