Alison Brooks beauty in architecture

Recently I dropped in to say hello to Architect Alison Brooks. We had connected through our joint interest in beauty. Our conversation ranged over why beauty has been lost as a framework in architecture and what the implications were. That beauty can be and is in fact universal. Alison has recently written and published a book called, ‘Ideals then Ideas‘.

photo by Wang Wei

There are four framing principles to Alison’s work. These are Authenticity, Generosity, Civicness and Beauty. About beauty Alison writes:

“Beauty is one of the oldest subjects in philosophy and one of the most controversial. Since early twentieth century it has all but disappeared from philosophical enquiry, the arts and contemporary architecture. The dialectic of subjective versus objective beauty and the relegation of beauty to visual perception has contributed to the absence of beauty as part of a critical discourse in architecture and the media”.

By removing beauty as a language, idea, possibility, destination, Alison believes we have lost much that would inform the practice of designing buildings, homes, civic spaces. What we want, argues Alison are buildings whatever they maybe that through their generosity, civic idealism and craftsmanship deliver a life that lifts us up materially and spiritually.

Alison states, “This declaration of beauty as an architectural ideal is intended as a kind of professional catharsis; removing any remaining Modernist guilt by association, and a public invitation to reconsider the nature and importance of beauty in everyday life and architecture.

Journey further

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