Dynamics of Performing Aesthetics in Architecture: A Critical Study


  • Pashmeena Vikramjit Ghom Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  • Abraham George Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur




aesthetics, beauty, environmental psychology, architecture, aesthetic performance


In architecture, Venustas (aesthetics) is always considered an important attribute along with Firmitas (firmness) and Utilitas (usefulness). Pursuing aesthetics/ beauty is one of the architect’s primary roles. However, it is critical to comprehend ‘What is aesthetics?’ and its implications for the built-unbuilt environment and human beings. In a world where everything is changing, are the definitions, concepts, and parameters of aesthetics consistent? Is it subject to change over time? If so, should architectural students and professionals be aware of it and trained in it? This study aims to critically assess and analyse the dynamic aspects of aesthetics from 3300 BCE to present and establish the ‘best fit’ definition of aesthetics in architecture. The methodology used for the study is a mixed-method approach, a comprehensive analysis of relevant literature to investigate the origin of aesthetics and aesthetics in philosophy, environmental psychology and architecture. The aspects, criteria and sub-criteria identified from the analysis. The consensus is taken from expert interviews and a questionnaire survey (n=72). Findings reveal that aesthetics in architecture is dynamic/ ever-changing. It has nine contributing aspects that make aesthetics a performing aesthetics that emphasises the enhanced worth and value for money invested. These nine aspects are spatial organisation, functional efficiency, social, psychological, environmental, maintenance, sustainability, technology, and economics. 


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Author Biographies

Pashmeena Vikramjit Ghom, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

Ar. Pashmeena Vikramjit Ghom is pursuing PhD from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. She graduated from Sir. J. J College of Architecture, Mumbai (2004) and M. Arch in Construction management from Rachana Sansad College of Architecture, Mumbai (2010). She has 16 years of experience in academics, profession and research. Her research interests and architectural studies include contextual design, design education, integrated design, children and the built environment, regional and vernacular architecture, Smart villages and Smart cities.

Abraham George, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

Dr Abraham George is head of the department in the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. He has graduated with First Rank in B. Arch from the University of Kerala in December 1986, secured M. Arch with Excellent Grade from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in 1991 and Ph.D. in Development of symbolic tools for communication in Architecture from Calicut University, in 2005. He was awarded the John Crawford Scholarship by the Government of Australia, 1992 and Fulbright Research Fellowship 2003-04 with centre of research at the Department of Architecture, Cornell University, New York. The Nehru Trust for Cambridge Collections, Victoria Albert Museum, UK had awarded him research grant for 2005-06.


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How to Cite

Ghom, P. V. and George, A. (2021) “Dynamics of Performing Aesthetics in Architecture: A Critical Study”, VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 6(2), pp. 82–101. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2021.16424.