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Why Do Modern Buildings Look Awful?

October 23, 2011 19:43:15.363

It seems that in a very real way, many architects see the world differently than the rest of us do:

There are many such confirming studies. For example, Gifford et al. (2002) surveyed other research and noted that “architects did not merely disagree with laypersons about the aesthetic qualities of buildings, they were unable to predict how laypersons would assess buildings, even when they were explicitly asked to do so.” The researchers traced this disagreement to well-known cognitive differences in the two populations: “Evidence that certain cognitive properties are related to building preference [was] found.”

I wonder if this has now reached the self selection stage where the problem is reinforcing itself....

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Why Do Modern Building Look Awful?

[Davorin Rusevljan] October 24, 2011 4:25:14.068

Interesting, but maybe we in software industry are not completely immune to the same syndrome regarding user interface? I guess what helps us to certain degree is open software, and absence of guilds.

Re: Why Do Modern Buildings Look Awful?

[James Robertson] October 24, 2011 8:39:26.010

I don't know that OSS really helps this cause; most OSS software is as problematic as the typical enterprise system. Apple - a model of tight control if ever there was one - is the only place that consistently pays attention to the the end user.

Re: Why Do Modern Buildings Look Awful?

[Lex Spoon] October 25, 2011 13:43:33.760

Interesting question about UI design.

In my experience, most developers accurately predict that their UIs are bad and that users will not like them.

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