Rationalized Esthetics in Civil Engineering

by Clayford T. Grimm, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Dir.; Center for Building Research, Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, Tex.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 9, Pg. 1813-1822

Document Type: Journal Paper


Supreme court decisions, Federal law, and governmental regulations now require civil engineering design to give appropriate consideration to environmental amenities. Anthropology clearly demonstrates that art is a fundamental characteristic of human society. The philosophies of esthetics have ranged broadly from the relative to the absolute, but eminent philosophers since Plato have urged a rational approach. For the past two centuries, civil engineering has been rooted in the physical sciences. The behavioral sciences can now be added as a source for the formulation of design principles. Recent psychological research has provided a promising means for the development of a rational design methodology. There is hope of quantifying esthetics, developing an esthetic modulus, and establishing truth about beauty.

Subject Headings: Aesthetics | Federal government | Human factors | Court decisions | Laws | Sustainable development | Vegetation

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