, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 133-142

The place of order and uncertainty in art and environmental aesthetics

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Contrasting views in writings of architectural aesthetics regarding the virtues of diversity as opposed to unity are examined in terms of Berlyne's treatment of the unity-amid-variety issue, and of work by him and others attempting to distinguish effects of complexity and redundancy. Research on the role of structural relationships in complex configurations suggests the need for coming to grips with such Gestaltist variables as order and balance in the context of a motivational theory of response to aesthetic stimuli such as Berlyne's.

This paper was written while the author was on leave at the Institute for Urban and Regional Development of the University of California at Berkeley, with partial support from a grant from the Farrand Fund of the Department of Landscape Architecture. It was prepared for a symposium in memory of Daniel Berlyne held at the meetings of the Canadian Psychological Association in Vancouver, B. C., June 9, 1977.