Institutional conditioning of aesthetic sensibility
The visual experience of modern spaces all over the world is beginning to look alike- Architecture, signage, hoardings, products, colour sense.
About a century ago we had diverse cultures with distinct way of life and aesthetic sensibilities that created contextually rooted architecture and artifacts. The present education has created total homogenization all over the world. The design and architectural education can be blamed as one of the most destructive agent for destroying diversity, leading to similar lifestyles. It will be worthwhile to look at what has been the impact of teaching art, architecture and design in this country. This could give us lessons as what not to do in schools.
Courses taken from the experience of western culture- Bauhaus, Ulm (first design education institution set up in Germany in the nineteen twenties) being the foundation of design education all over the world has psychologically damaged the being at all levels - aping the west, inferiority complex, cultural insensitivity and other cognitive damages. This is true of art education also. Even today the basic inspiration is from the art movements that happened in the west. With art education becoming more formal it is also becoming very rigid and is getting preoccupied with rules, information, history etc. More illusionary is the connection art education has with creativity and beauty as if every other subject is uncreative and devoid of beauty.
Distinct feature of all authentic cultures has been the central role of beauty, knowledge and creativity in everything it does. So the real issue then is to understand how to retain the cultural rootedness and help the learner to retain their original, authentic sense of beauty which is in true sense based on the experience of the real context in which he leads his life.
So we may start of by asking some basic questions.
What is the purpose of beauty in life? How is it developed? Is it inborn? What is its connection with knowledge? Or how is it connected with cognition? Do senses play any role in this? What role does sense have in the present educational set up? What is authenticity? originality? How does not being authentic impact what we do/ make etc.? What is culture and how is it formed? What is the connection between beauty, creativity and culture? How does culture create conditions for the blossoming of creativity and beauty? Do we have to teach art to develop sense of beauty in us or is beauty inherent to our being?