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8.4.4. Aesthetic Needs


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 8. The Motivating Fire > 8.4. Basic Drivers > 8.4.4. Aesthetic Needs

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Perhaps most perplexing from the evolutionary viewpoint is our needs for aesthetic satisfaction. Shapes, pictures, colours, sounds, textures, patterns, all make us feel more or less good, but it is not easy to explain the value of these in the primitive sense. Nature uses a number of sensory signals in courtship rituals and other forms of communication to other animals–perhaps, having mastered all other species and with time on his hands, ancient man abstracted from these to create forms of pure pleasure to fill the duller moments (which he also did with sex).

Creativity is sometimes all about aesthetics, as in art and creative writing, sometimes purely technical, as when devising new propulsion systems, but is often some combination of the two. Engineers may look down on artists and artists ignore engineers, but both can learn from one another. The greatest inventors, such as Leonardo da Vinci were often both scientists and artists.

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