The sense of beauty and aesthetic has been studied a lot in philosophy and in the history of art, but sometimes we consider it purely a subjective and superficial matter, thinking that it does not significantly influence our own life, but is this true?
If you come to know your friend has just bought a house, the first thought you will probably have is: “Is it beautiful?”, and after this the followings come: “Is it big? Bright? Has it got a garden?”.
All these questions are to clarify the parameters of your idea of beauty for a residential space. Having the awareness of what is beautiful and what is not comes to be useful at a social level, because a common idea of beauty in architecture avoids the property developers to build buildings of any shape and in any kind of landscape merely according to economic constraints. It is extremely convenient for them to live in a society where there is not an objective vision of beauty, and where the latter is considered relative. If you leave doubts about this subject you auto-condamn yourself to live in ugly environments, where the well-being of the single person is at the bottom of the list, exactly as it’s happening in metropolitan cities today.
Beauty in architecture is subject to the common opinion, the same as the good food in a restaurant or a political election.
“Beauty is an absolute and an objective value still today, that means that everyone is aware of what is beautiful and what is not; even if you have a controversial part due to the taste, but there is definitely not doubt that places, or architectures, or works of art made accordingly to harmony and good taste guidelines are undiscussibly beautiful. Why are they beautiful? Because they have a resistance to the time advance, which makes them continuously attractive, and that is felt by everyone as a sensation of harmony and aesthetic order.” Interview to V. Sgarbi, 13.10.13 on Italian Factory.
After all there was Kant already who was saying the judgment of beauty needs to have a sense of common approval which goes beyond the rules:
“The judgments of taste – always logically singular, since they are made according to the scheme “x is beautiful” – need to aim to a universal validity, that means they have to be shared intersubjectively even if they are not based on concepts. The reason of this claim is transcendental, and it lies in the nature of the pleasure you feel together with the aesthetic judgment, a pleasure coming from what Kant calls “free game” of the learning faculties involved in the judgment of beauty: imagination and intellect. This harmonic agreement of subjective faculties produces a subjective state of mind, not bound by any concept or rule, but nevertheless available to be shared intersubjectively, a sort of common sense based on the feeling which Kant calls sensus communis aestheticus.“ Extract from the article “The beauty is symbol of morality” cured by Claudia Bianco, website La Filosofia e i suoi Eroi.
Suggested book to go deeper into the subject: “Critique to Judgment”, Immanuel Kant.