Ugly – Normal

For me, ugly and beauty is not only about how we perceive on things, because it’s rather subjective.  I think ‘ugly’ is when something’s not in line with the context given or its normal and balanced everyday state. For example, trash became an ugly thing if we put it over the reception table at a five-star hotel lobby, which is normally clean and luxurious. With the trash on top of it, the balance and the beauty of the reception table is ruined. But if we put that trash inside the recycle bin in the same hotel lobby, the trash became a part of a balanced state, where everything is in its place and no longer considered ugly.

So, I did a little experiment with something that is considered beautiful, human face. Two eyes, one nose, one mouth in a human’s face are made with a perfect proportion. Like this woman in the picture below, she have a completely normal size and proportion of eyes and nose. Have you ever imagined what it would be like if we have extremely small eyes? Or an extremely large nose?
Our eyes and nose have their own balancing size with one another, so in their normal state it’s considered beautiful. The eyes, in the natural context will fill 2/3 of our face width. In that proportion, we will have the field of view that we have now. If we raise the ratio up or down, we would not have the same field of view, function-wise. And it would be out of the normal state of a human face to have such ratio, just like the trash, it would ruin the face proportion. Our nose also have a natural proportion in our face, if it’s either so much bigger or smaller it will be considered ugly or out of the normal state. If we combined the two abnormal state, the result would be really far from normal and the beauty itself.

If we see it from the “normal and balanced” point of view, the second picture will be considered ugly. But in my subjective opinion, it is very interesting and not all normal and boring like the first one.


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This is a blog for any ideas, thoughts, questions and anything else related to architecture and everyday. Writings in this blog were submitted by students of "Architecture & Everyday" class at the University of Indonesia, as our attempts of reading and re-reading of our everyday and our architecture

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