> No I dont agree aesthetics is a fundamental requirement for IxD.
For your consideration, another essay from Paul Rand, from his book
"Thoughts on Design."
To interpret the modern approach to visual communication as mere
sensationalism is to misunderstand the very spirit of our time. In
advertising, the contemporary approach to art is based on a simple
concept, the concept of the advertisement as an organic and
functional unit, each element of which is integrally related to the
others, in harmony with the whole, and essential to the execution of
the idea. From this standpoint, copy, art, and typography are
indissoluble. Editorial layout, promotional matter, direct mail,
packaging, book designing, and industrial design are governed by the
same considerations: function... form... production... process...
integrated product. Such an evolution logically precludes extraneous
trimmings and "streamlined" affectations.
That which makes for good *advertising* is one thing, and that which
makes for good *art* another; but that which makes for good
*advertising art* is an harmonious resolution of both, integrating as
a whole the utilitarian and formal requirements of the problem.
Commenting of the distinction between fine art and useful or
technological art, John Dewey states: "That many, perhaps most, of
the articles and utensils made at present for use are not genuinely
esthetic happens, unfortunately, to be true. But it is true for
reasons that are foreign to the relation of the 'beautiful' and
'useful' as such. Wherever conditions are such as to prevent the act
of production from being an experience in which the whole creature is
alive and in which he possesses his living through enjoyment, the
product will lack something of being esthetic. No matter how useful
it is for special and limited ends, it will not be useful in the
ultimate degree -- that of contributing directly and liberally to an
expanding and enriched life."
This philosophy is demonstrated in the life of the Shakers, whose
history reveals the love of, and strict adherence to, the principles
of harmony, beauty, and utility. It is not surprising that such
ideals should have found expression in the production of much
furniture and many utensils of great aesthetic value, characterized
by a keen sensitivity to form and constant awareness of function.
These products are a document of the every-day life of the sect,
their asceticism, their devotion to fine craftsmanship, their feeling
of fine proportion, space, and order, and their sincerity and
naturalness. This fusion of spiritual and material values is also
evidenced in Oriental art. The genuine pleasure we derive from the
best examples of early Chinese art testifies to these same qualities.
Interpreted in the light of our own experience and of the transition
from manual to machine production, these basic truths still prevail.
To realize the production of modern advertising and industrial art in
terms of functional-aesthetic perfection is to realize the oneness of
art and living.
- Paul Rand, "Thoughts on Design, Second Edition," pg 1-2 (published:
I know of no formalized design profession in existence in this modern
world where aesthetics, both material and immaterial, are not
integral in some fashion to the practice of the discipline.
Formalized design professions have long moved past the notion that
"functional-aesthetic," as Rand puts it, is somehow optional to
practicing good design. In that light, I have no idea how IxD would
be excluded from the requirement that those that practice the
discipline need a proficient understanding and ability to create
esthetic work along with the functional components of their designs.
And by "proficient understanding and ability to create," I don't mean
tell somehow else how to do it, let someone else figure out the
aesthetic qualities, or delegate the aesthetic qualities in the process.
Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world