The idea of aesthetics is famously difficult to define, but we think of it as suggesting a non-utilitarian pleasure which includes the recognition of symmetry, harmony, simplicity and fitness for purpose. Obviously, if a learning space has aesthetic merit, it will be seen by most as ‘beautiful’, but its beauty is integral to its ‘learning-spaceness’: it is beautiful AS A LEARNING SPACE.
The aesthetic appeal of a learning space, then, will not just be the utilitarian fact that it has a particular level of technology or affordances, but the way the technology or affordances fit into the whole. It may also include the non-utilitarian enjoyment of the design of the space, the outlook, the furnishings, colours, light, view.
It will be clear that the idea of aesthetics ‘bundles’ the design principles of SKG in ‘an SKG aesthetic’, where comfort, aesthetics, equity, flow, technology, affordances and the use of the room all fit together harmoniously.