The Choice of Beauty

I dreaded going to the suburbs as a child. It was dismal compared to the vibrant city of New Orleans, my birthplace. Built thoughtfully over time, New Orleans was unobjectionable and beautiful to me. The objectivity of beauty is a debate as old as time. Classical scholars including Artistotle believed that beauty can be measured and defined, while more recent thinkers argue that beauty is “in the eye of the beholder.” I believe the essence of beauty lies somewhere in the middle. While there is no denying the significance of personal preference, fundamental elements of beauty persist through time.


Symmetry that yields calm presence

Order with rhythmic patterns

Form in its’ place

Place for simplicity, stillness and curiosity

Light that softens and accentuates

Material grounded and warm

Space that inspires Wonder

Aesthetic that is meant to be

Joy for You and Joy for Me


Beauty is a basic need we take for granted. The unconsidered built environment degrades our personal experience and the larger world in which we live. Beautiful built environments, on the other hand, are worthy of our highest being, and inspire us to advance humanity. From our personal spaces to our greater towns and cities, the beauty of our surroundings, or the lack of it, can inspire or deplete us. Beauty is a choice, forsaken by many, and embraced by few. Will you choose beauty?