Aesthetic theory

Aesthetic theory is more about judging how well something does what it is supposed to do and how well it conforms to a certain area of design, rather than it being all about how good it looks.

A good example of aesthetic theory, in judging,  is the Chelsea flower show.

Each garden may look completely different from one another and in different peoples opinion, one will look better than the other, but the judges also have to think about how well it shows a message or a feeling, so you might get one garden that visually looks better than another, but  that other garden might be conveying an idea better, rather than just having fancy, innovative designs.

Examples of Chelsea flower show gardens.

I just had a quick look at some of the gardens for the Chelsea flower show and even though I have no training in horticulture/landscaping etc. I can see they all look different and in different styles. I can see that some of them are trying to express things through the garden. Just on the visuals of the gardens, I can see that the top one is a more modern garden, with clear sections and sculptures etc. Where as the bottom is more overgrown and looks more natural. The middle image, I can sort of get a reason to why they have done that they have done. I’m probably wrong, but to me I think that the creator is trying to express something about the contrast between nature and industry, because the sculpture looks quite modern and (to me) looks like an aerial view of buildings. But that’s just the point, my ideas and what I find appealing will be different from someone else.


Thomas Heatherwick is an English designer who in known as one of Britain’s most gifted and imaginative designers. He is know for his work in architecture, urban infrastructure, sculpture and design.

His well known projects are the new London bus design, UK Pavilion and the 2012 Olympic cauldron are just a few.

He has made a number of pavilions, I have found a couple below.

The top one looks similar to the UK Pavilion. The tubes are hollow with PVC on each end and provide light to the inside.

The bottom pavilion can be closed off at the sides, or the doors fold open to make a hollow ‘shell’ canopy type thing.


Every year since 2000 the Serpentine Gallery has commissioned a temporary summer pavilion by a leading architect. (

I have looked at all of them and I have added pictures of my personal favourite pavilions. Because they are only temporary, I think they need to be unique and memorable, which I think my choices are.






We were given a task to design a project proposal for a new Sheffield Pavilion.


“Part of the council’s current plans for the Castle Market is to demolish the existing complex and open up a pedestrian route from the city centre to the Victoria Docks area and the new Riverside Quarter, now that the ring road has been diverted”.

The Sheffield Castle Market has been around for a long time, so it’s demolition will be taken hard by a number of people. The plan for the pedestrian route could be an ideal place for this Pavilion.

The Pavilion will allow shelter for the public, also it will be known as a landmark and a social meeting place like the markets once were. It will pay homage to the markets by including features from the original architecture:

Not only showing  to the markets, but to Sheffield’s international reputation for steel and iron. Because of this, the frame work (as well as the memorial to the market) will be entirely made out of locally produced steel.

The Pavilion will bring people back to the area for the right reasons and will help this area of Sheffield to thrive. It could also be a tourist attraction for the tourists staying at the Hotels close by (Premier Inn, Travel Lodge, Hilton etc.

(Middle circle will be the area where the pavilion will be, outer circle indicating surrounding hotels.


Quick sketch of the Pavilion (below)

The frame will be locally produced steel girders the look as though they burst out the ground, showing that steel production is a major part of Sheffield. There will be steel sheets in some of the sections, rather than it all being open to the elements. The main body will be slightly tinted glass (again, locally produced), this section will house a sculpture made up of architecture from the castle market bridge. The front of Pavilion will be open and which will make it feel welcoming. The light flooding in through the sky light will spotlight on the sculpture. During the night, it will be lit up by lights on the floor, where the girders look like they are coming through s to emphasize the point the it’s coming out of the ground. There will also be a spotlight inside the Pavilion which will be above the sculpture.



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