The beauty of windmills and power lines

Windmills were considered eyesores in 17th century Holland. Now we believe they are beautiful. And so they are. But there is a prejudice to presume that industrial things are not beautiful. We learned to see the beauty in windmills after artists painted them.

Alain de Botton discusses the beauty of windmills and power lines in his interview on EconTalk.

Many of the industrial things in the world are considered ugly, not because they are ugly, but because nobody has come along to point out that they might be beautiful. … A lot of times we call things beautiful or ugly because artists have been there and shaped our sensibilities. … and in a small way, that’s what my book is about: finding beauty where genuinely there is beauty but it gets missed.

Related posts

2 thoughts on “The beauty of windmills and power lines

  1. Interesting that you’d bring this up now–a documentary (edited by one of my friends) was just released called Windfall, about all of the downsides to having windmills in a community. Of course, this is talking about modern windmills instead of classical ones, but it seems that there are definitely some problems with having windmills in a community that don’t seem appear at first consideration.

    More info here:

    As for myself, I still think windmills are beautiful.

  2. A very interesting author. The beauty in everyday things especially why the workplace is never viewed as a place of beauty or creation for that matter. Tempted to go buy the book now… without knowing where it was printed.

Comments are closed.