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Everyday Aesthetics$
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Yuriko Saito

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278350

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278350.001.0001

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Aesthetics of Distinctive Characteristics and Ambience

Aesthetics of Distinctive Characteristics and Ambience

(p.104) III Aesthetics of Distinctive Characteristics and Ambience
Everyday Aesthetics

Yuriko Saito (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes a familiar aesthetic experience in our everyday life: appreciation of the distinctive characteristics of objects, environments, and temporal contexts. It ranges from the quintessential attributes of a natural object, the ambience created by harmoniously-united diverse elements, sense of place, and seasonableness, illustrated by a number of examples from 18th century British aesthetics, Japanese culture, including literature, gardening, the tea ceremony, food, and packaging, and the Arts and Crafts movement. This aesthetic sensibility nurtures a moral sensibility by promoting an open-minded and respectful attitude toward what the objects offer, an attitude underlying today's ecological design premised upon designing with nature. At the same time, certain limits to this kind of aesthetic sensibility also need to be observed for moral, social, and political reasons in order to avoid aestheticization of suffering and misery, as well as guarding against denying minority taste in favor of preserving a sense of place.

Keywords:   distinctive characteristics, ambience, sense of place, seasonableness, 18th century British aesthetics, Japanese culture, Arts and Crafts, ecological design, aestheticization

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