Culture Juggler

Culture as Seen through the Kaleidoscope of Fine and Applied Art.

Culture as Seen through the Kaleidoscope of Fine and Applied Art.

Are We Diminishing Beauty?

The iconic Bauhaus Building in Dessau, from Wikipedia By Spyrosdrakopoulos – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

In our contemporary era, still deeply influenced by the Bauhaus and other extreme modernist art movements, art schools appear to reject and diminish the significance of fine art, ornamentation, and decoration in applied arts, such as architecture and design.

Throughout the academic journey of architects and designers, students are introduced to the glory of the Renaissance and even the innovation of Impressionism (Although regarded as one of the earliest art movements in the modern era by some). Simultaneously, they find themselves suddenly confronted with the austerity of Bauhaus or the madness of Dadaism, as if these movements were as glorious as the former ones.

Furthermore, there is a growing emphasis on the mechanical aspects of projects – be it products, interior spaces, buildings, or landscapes – at the expense of aesthetic considerations. While Le Corbusier famously stated, “The house is a machine for living in,” it’s important to note that I am not suggesting functionality is unimportant in the objects we use or inhabit. However, what is a purely functional machine without taking the time to infuse it with our style and spiritual imprint?

Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son by Claude Monet – EwHxeymQQnprMg — Google Arts & Culture, Public Domain,

As humans, we are inherently drawn to beauty, as it is an integral part of our existence. Aesthetics in artifacts and art pieces always narrate a story about someone and reveal their identity; they tell our story. Thus, instead of adhering strictly to the mantra of “form follows function,” why not propose, particularly in applied arts projects, that “form crosses the path of function”? And why not view radical and extreme art movements as disconnected from our true essence? Why not break away from them at some point in academic curricula?