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When did human beings begin to experience the desire for beauty?

We know that a descendant of Homo Erectus, Neanderthal man, who survived until only 27 000 years ago, used body decorations and produced music by making flutes.

We have traces of the desire for beauty going back 18 500 years: one of our ancestors depicted polychrome figures of deer, wild boar, bison, and even combined the technique of engraving with that of painting, taking advantage of natural rock protrusions to achieve a three-dimensional effect. These are the paintings found in the caves of Altamira, Spain.

In more recent times, there has been much questioning about the subjective nature of aesthetic appreciation and its universality, how innate the sense of beauty is and how much cultural and emotional factors of aesthetic appreciation influence it. Boundaries difficult to draw those between art, science, critical thinking, emotions, too many


Then finally, in 1994, neuroscientist Semir Zeki, ventured into an area of research that he

he will call Neuroaesthetics, by which he aims to scientifically study the biological mechanisms underlying our aesthetic perception.

What is interesting to know is that Zeki's experiments did not aim to determine which area of the brain hosts "the perception of beauty," but rather to investigate how the brain relates to personal judgment about something, what happens physiologically in stating that something is beautiful or ugly.

Zeki assumes that aesthetic experience is always a subjective experienceperceiving pleasure, beauty in the spaces we inhabit, is because we have somehow managed to shape, to translate into "atmosphere" our sense of life!

It is unthinkable that beauty is a one-size-fits-all phenomenon. Works and observers are unstable entities. A subject's reactions and experience can change depending on context, emotional state, prior knowledge. If you go to the National Gallery, you may be indifferent to a certain painting, then you realize that the author is Van Gogh, and your reactions change

So it is indeed true that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" as the very famous phrase goes, and likewise we can say that the world, our world, our home, is also closely connected to our gaze.

Subjective then, but above all necessary, beauty is an integral part of our living. Therefore, bringing beauty into the spaces we inhabit becomes a right and a necessity.

We are used to asking our homes to fulfill certain functions: a space in which to eat, one in which to rest, wash, sleep, but we can and must ask for more: it is our right to claim pleasure!

Bringing beauty into the spaces we inhabit does not mean buying expensive furniture or inaccessible art paintings, but rather learning to give value and meaning to the ingredients of our Living, learning to create the atmosphere we want to breathe: that magical mix of colors, shapes, sounds, scents, capable of welcoming us and telling us who we are.

John Ruskin suggested that we look for two things in our buildings: that they give us shelter and that they speak to us, speak to us about everything we think is important and that we want to remember.

Alain De Botton

This is precisely what one must ask of one's home: that it tell about us, that it remind us at every moment who we are, what things we love, that it welcome our habits and even our little foibles in a daily embrace.

The concept of buildings that speak activates the need to ask questions, to question the values by which we want to live our lives, going far beyond the purely aesthetic aspect of a dwelling.

If we perceive pleasure, beauty in the spaces we inhabit, it is because somehow we have managed to shape, to translate into "atmosphere" our sense of life!

There are as many styles of beauty as there are visions of happiness

scrisse Stendhal, dopo aver affermato che

Beauty is a promise of happiness

What one's vision of happiness is among the innumerable and complex possibilities becomes

therefore the field of research into which to delve in order to reveal to ourselves what we want our homes to speak to us about.

Our homes must be the tuning forks with which we "tune" our lives. Then from the labyrinth of forms, from blindness to too many images, from the background noise in which we are forced to live in this society of ours, we can return home. And once here, home, we can harmonize thoughts and feelings on our own frequencies and feel in harmony with our inner song.

Don't make your home according to fashion but according to intelligence and with a loving culture and native common sense. The home accompanies our life. It is the vessel of our good and bad hours, it is the temple for our noblest thoughts, it must not be in fashion, for it must not go out of fashion.

Gio Ponti

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