The contribution of art and design to contemporary aesthetics in Dubai

Aesthetics is a term used to refer to the feelings that something evokes through one’s senses. When referring to Dubai aesthetics, it could mean what one feels when they hear the name or see an image of a building located in Dubai. These responses are different from cognitive ones in that they are not conscious, they are biased and they do not look at many aspects of the thing in question to be attained but one thing.

In the case of Dubai, an image that pops up on a website producing say a tour package can cause an aesthetic response, an involuntary reaction, whether negative or positive but an email with the same information may fail to produce the same response.

The assessment is, therefore not deliberate or analytical. This is why aesthetics can be a tricky topic to deal with. Most of the time, aesthetics is to do with the optical senses because they translate data faster.

When it comes to a city, aesthetics is sometimes separate from the function. For example, Nairobi and Dubai may be good tourist destinations with the same amenities but they may not necessarily produce the same feeling.

All other things kept constant, a majority of people will prefer the beautiful to the ugly option and so in that sense then beauty becomes an option to consider when choosing something over another.

This is one thing that the designers in Dubai have played to. Buildings that appeal to not just the mastery of engineering as a practice but the understanding that part of consumer satisfaction is the beauty they perceive in them, have been erected. Think the Palm Islands or the Burj Khalifa or even the World Islands. The fact that they invoke a sense of beauty has done a lot to improve Dubai’s aesthetics.

Another way to which they have contributed to the positive way in which Dubai has come to be known is how they (the artists) do their marketing. The aesthetic response to something is so much to do with the very first impression the person makes.

It does not matter that they will get to find out more information and get an opportunity to change their minds; people can be adamant. This is why it is important to play the design of works of art in a way that they will give the best possible first impression.

In this area, Dubai has also not failed. You just need to do a simple Google search on art and design in Dubai and see how appealing the images are; whether it is coffee tables from Dubai or earrings or even paintings. So much so are they that they would prompt you to find out more about the country.

People usually see beauty as a symbol of quality. It is, in its substance less important than the value derived from the substance but one cannot do without it. You only need to compare Dubai with countries that attract fewer people to see that.