Why is the modern world so ugly?

One of the great generalisations we can make about the modern world is that it is, to an extraordinary degree, an ugly world. If we were to show an ancestor from…

The Importance of Architecture

In an odd but quietly very important way, works of architecture ‘speak’ to us. Some buildings, streets and even whole cities seem to speak of chaos, aggression or military pride; others…

The Secret of Beauty: Order and Complexity

This is an essay about beauty – and in particular about what makes something beautiful. We want to give you the answer right away: BEAUTY = ORDER and COMPLEXITY In other…

Le Corbusier

If the idea of being a ‘modern’ person and leading a ‘modern’ life still has an exciting ring to it, it’s at least in part down to the influence of an…

Two World Views: Romantic and Classical

Romantic Romanticism is a movement of art and ideas that began in Europe in the mid eighteenth century and has now taken over the world. It is hard to go far…

Oscar Niemeyer

One of the most depressing aspects of travel is finding that the world often looks the same in many different places. The towers of downtown Tokyo are indistinguishable from those of…