Aesthetics from the Future of Life

by Luke Wroblewski June 12, 2004

Edward O. Wilson’s latest book, The Future of Life, paints a vivid picture of the mass extinctions occurring on Earth today, why we should care, and how we can help. Additionally, Edward offers some insights into universal aesthetics and why colors found in nature have innate attraction that makes them well-suited to interface design.

“Studies conducted in the relatively new field of environmental psychology during the past thirty years point consistently to the following conclusion: people prefer to be in natural environments, and especially in savanna or park-like habitats.”

“Studies of response prior to surgery and dental work have consistently revealed a significant reduction of stress in the presence of plants and aquaria. Natural environments viewed through windows or merely displayed in wall-mounted pictures produce the same effect.”

Aesthetics

“…to see most clearly the manifestations of human instinct, it is useful to start with the rich, who among us enjoy the widest range of options in response, and most readily follow their emotional and aesthetic inclinations.”

“Microaesthetics based upon [compacted natural worlds such as those found on a tree] is still an unexplored wilderness to the creative mind.”

Though, one might argue the pixel landscapes of some designers touch on this realm.