Aesthetics,Well-Being and Health: Essays within Architecture and Environmental Aesthetics

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In everyday life, most people do not reflect seriously on the impacts of architecture and environmental aesthetics on their well-being and health. This intriguing volume brings together professionals working in architecture, planning, urban design and social policy with academics from both humanities and social sciences to provide a broad-based and insightful discussion on how aesthetics affect us emotionally and physically. The essays help us understand our cultural and individual preferences related to the quality of the environment and challenge the common belief that environmental beauty is a matter of personal taste. A wide range of concepts are discussed such as place identity, multi-sensuous and emotional processes, geometrical order and controlled space, architectural plasticity, aesthetically real and virtual values, participative design processes, ethics in architecture, and beauty and happiness. The book highlights the importance for today's society to engage more in aesthetic ethics and to understand the significance of creating aesthetically pleasing environments.

Author Biography: Professor Birgit Cold, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Fine Arts, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.

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Editorial Reviews

After sifting through relevant literature from the two fields and publishing abstracts of it in 1998, architects and social scientists here offer essays ranging from the confessional to the technical on links between the built environment and human health and happiness. Most of the contributors are from northern Europe, but some from both sides of the Mediterranean and one from the US. Their topics include creating aesthetic built environments through the user participation process, reconnecting the senses, and buildings imagined as bodies. There is no index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754618560
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Series: Ethnoscapes Series
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Aesthetics, Well-being and Health 11
Aesthetics 11
Well-being and health 16
Beauty and well-being 18
The Essays 24
The invitation 24
The essays' views on aesthetics and beauty, well-being and health 25
Environments and places in the essays 26
Issues raised in the essays 28
Health and Beauty: Enclosure and Structure 49
Beauty 67
The Aesthetics of Place 93
Creating Aesthetic Built Environments through the User Participation Process 102
What Happens if Zeleste Becomes an Architect? 117
The Architectural Psychology Box of Infinite Knowledge 129
Housing, Health and Aesthetics: Reconnecting the Senses 143
"Chuck out the Chintz"? Some Observations on Aesthetics, Well-being and Health 157
Reflections on Concepts of Aesthetics, Health and Well-being 173
Aesthetics in the Built Environment and its Influence on the User 193
The Mind of the Environment 203
Aesthetics, Order and Discipline 221
I Live in a Beautiful House, on a Beautiful Street in Beautiful Montreal: Notes on Well-being and the Experience of Place Aesthetics 241
Environmental Aesthetics and Well-being: Implications for a Digital World 249
Reasonable Persons and Their Aesthetic Preferences 259
Conversations on Aesthetics 271
Buildings Imagined as Bodies 290
Presentation of the Contributors 303
App. 1 Selected findings from the book Aesthetics, Well-being and Health - abstracts on theoretical and empirical research within environmental aesthetics (1998) 311
App. 2 List of reviewed literature from the book Aesthetics, Well-being and Health, - abstracts on theoretical and empirical research within environmental aesthetics (1998) 315
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