Human Aesthetics

Institute for human aesthetics

Usually, we understand good design as objects or spaces that meet human interests as far as possible. However, human needs, desires and aspirations are contradictory and diverse, just like human life styles. Judgements about beauty and ugliness are strongly culture-dependent and individually wide-ranging.
But as we belong to the same biological species and thus share many similar physical characteristics, we also share many perceptions, patterns of meaning and preferences with each other.

Thus, sensory impressions and spatial environments exert a strong influence on our psyche, our body, our feelings and our motivations, even beyond acquired interpretations - and often unnoticed by our consciousness. While we are directing our attention towards our daily goals, they influence and control our behaviour, our ability to perform, our well-being and our mental and physical health.

We are working in an interdisciplinary way to understand aesthetic experience in the field of tension between culture and nature. We are developing contextualised questions and models for an evidence-based aesthetic quality discussion. And we are setting up concepts on how design can work more effectively with the help of scientific findings.

The Institute for Human Aesthetics is a transdisciplinary research group of Coburg University of Applied Sciences with researchers and scientists from the University of Bamberg, the New Design University St. Pölten, the University of Cambridge, Georgetown University, Washington, and others.
In research, discourse, teaching and application, we work to better understand these contexts and effects of aesthetic experience and to make them usable for design and architecture. 

Chair/ Associate Chair: Prof. Dr. Michael Heinrich/ Prof. Dr. Niko Kohls

Research assistant: Dr. Morteza Izadifar

Cooperation partner at the University of Bamberg: Prof. Dr. Christian Illies

Cooperation partner at the New Design University St. Pölten, Austria: Prof. Dr. Martin Düchs

Cooperation partner at the University of Cambridge, UK: Nicholas Ray MA, Prof. Dr. Max Sternberg

Cooperation partner at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA: Prof. Dr. James Giordano

Cooperation partner at the Westminster Abbey Institute, London, UK: Dr. Claire Gilbert, director

Cooperation partner at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA (in progress, confirmed):
Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics, Prof. Dr. Anian Chatterjee