"What is a fashion? From the artistic point of view, it is usually a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." Oscar Wilde
Aesthetics is crucial for our transitioning from a consumer culture saturated with disposable goods to a more sustainable consumer practice. Aesthetics concerns beauty and sensuous delight. But what is considered beautiful and delightful? Beauty is in many ways connected to taste – and therefore connected to the ideals of our time, our culture. Connected to trends. And yet, I do believe there exists within the world and practice of design (from architecture to clothes to furniture) an expression of a lasting aesthetic - an eternal beauty.
The definition of an aesthetically sustainable design object (whether this being a dress, a table, a bag, or a bowl) is, to me, an object that has a lasting expression… an object that lasts aesthetically. A design containing lasting harmony, and beauty that is not affected by trends. If something is aesthetically sustainable, it pleases our senses as well as our fundamental human need to structure what we experience. It has a constant expression; a lasting look.
The ultimate sustainability must be buying a few, good things that last. That requires durability, quality, and aesthetics! Which look do you never get tired of? Which shirt would you want to wear again and again, year after year (if it didn’t wear out)? How can designers of all disciplines rise above the short term rat race of fast fashion and disposable trends into the realm of aesthetic sustainability?