Beauty will Save the World

A Critical Aspect of our Emotional Health

 

Dostoyevski, the Russian novelist, said Beauty will Save the World.  This might sound naive or silly but for the fact that the human brain is aroused when exposed to beauty and numbed when surrounded by the brutal and ugly.  This claim is validated by the contrast between two words:  Aesthetic (responsive to beauty) and Anesthetic (senses are numbed).  Another fact is that for as long as humanity has been on Earth, beauty has been created by humans, even when we were living in caves:  the urge to be surrounded by beauty is one of the most primal needs.  Thus, nearly 340 caves have now been discovered in France and Spain that contain art from prerhistoric times.

Now, more than ever, when our cities have neglected this most critical aspect of our emotional health, we must place beauty as a high priority within our homes.

Hector LaSala
Distinguished Professor of Architecture
University of Louisiana