Blog | On Beauty - A Talk by Kevin Trickett, MBE

Wakefield Civic Society

an organisation dedicated to making Wakefield a better place in which to live, work or relax.

Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
Mar 21

On Beauty - A Talk by Kevin Trickett, MBE

On Beauty

On Beauty – Wakefield Civic Society President, Kevin Trickett MBE

In November 2018, the government announced the setting up the Building Better, Building Beauty Commission.The purpose of the Commission, which is to be chaired by philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, is to “tackle the challenge of poor quality design and build of homes and places, across the country and help ensure as we build for the future, we do so with popular consent”.

One of the Commission’s aims is to “advocate for beauty in the built environment”.

Kevin has been asked to join a panel set up by Civic Voice, the national organisation for the civic society movement, to help prepare a response to the Commission on behalf of the movement. As a student of philosophy himself, Kevin’s first response was to consider what we think of when we hear the word ‘beauty’. How does beauty relate to the built environment?

Now, we all need some beauty in our lives. It can improve our mental and even our physical wellbeing. But what exactly is beauty? Can it be defined or is it just another word to describe what is essentially no more than something we like; a synonym for personal taste?

How do we know that something is beautiful? Is the capacity to recognise beauty something that we learn, or is it innate and instinctive? Does beauty exist if there’s no one around to experience it?

These are the sorts of questions that Kevin will ask in this talk – his intention is to get you thinking about the subject in new ways. He will look at beauty in all its forms and how it interacts with our senses, whether it is natural beauty or something that has been created as the result of human endeavour – not just in craftsmanship but also in our personal behaviours (‘moral beauty’).

And how does ‘beauty’ relate to ‘design’? Should form follow function – or is form more important?

Kevin’s purpose with this talk is to mine the topic rather than to provide emphatic answers. He says “Let’s explore the subject in more detail and see whether or not we come to the conclusion that beauty is not just skin deep and is much, much more than only being in the eye of the beholder”.

The talk is open to all and free to attend.