In Search of Beauty - Part Two

Watching the TED talk by Semir Zeki, The Neurobiology of Beauty, I was fascinated by his references to "beauty in the world of literature" and its inexorable links with the emotions of desire and love, and how this triangle of beauty-love-desire is mirrored in the brain.

When people look at things that they desire and love Semir Zeki observes that there is one area of the brain called the medial-orbital frontal cortex that is activated. This same part is activated when people experience beauty.

The American neuroscientist Candace Pert in her book Everything you need to know to feel Go(o)d says that there are more opiate receptors in the frontal cortex then in other part of the brain and body. The opiate receptors are the cellular binding site for endorphins in the brain. Endorphins can trigger a positive or blissful feeling in people.

When I see something beautiful I tend to stare at it, I contemplate it and I try to absorb all the positive vibration that I could possibly take with me.

It thrills my mental, emotional and my spiritual body.

Could this mean that in perceiving something beautiful beauty could release or create endorphins? Endorphins are released as a response to stimuli such as pain or stress, so I wonder if the emotional resonance triggered by beauty is comparable to these everyday phenomena.

If this is the case then it takes me back to the question of whether there is a formula for beauty.

During the mini symposium on the subject of beauty, Yael Reisner expressed that the characteristics of the experience of beauty, as suggested by mathematicians were:


Magical effect






Expresses unconscious perception of order

Everything falls into place

Gives us a sense of pleasure & satisfaction

I strongly believe that, as a designer, to create with beauty one should go though the flow of Nature, Innocence (found in the inner child being) and Spirituality.

In Nature we find the right proportions, colour harmony and texture.

In Innocence we find simplicity and creativity

In the Spiritual we find the completeness, love, truth and cosmic wisdom.

When these factors are present throughout the design process from conception through creation and refinement these parameters combine to achieve beautiful design.

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