Battlefield Aesthetics

What is striking about Napoleon’s strategic genius is his ability to visualize troops in battle not as separate entities, but as connected nodes in a network of tensions. Tensions that push, pull, support, threaten, and protect elements connected in a network of relationships. Likewise, the quality and effectiveness of a design depends on the designer’s ability to identify this invisible network of tensions and pull the right strings to achieve the desired ending.

Napoleon crossing the Alps, Jacques-Louis David (1801) pic, Public Domain,

The Elegance of mathematics: a lesson by Dante Alighieri

The relationship between the expressive richness of natural language and the rigor of mathematics has been explored by poets and writers over the centuries with surprising results. Mathematics has been used by artists to define strict Boundaries within which to express their creativity as well as to build bold metaphors. Among the many, we remember Borges, who in numerous works is seduced by the vertigo of mathematical thought. An example is the Aleph point of infinite dimensions: “An Aleph is one of the points of space that contain all the points […] the place where they are found without confusion, all the places of the earth, seen from all angles”.

Domenico di Michelino – Dante and the three worlds, 1465

The beauty of ordinary life according to Georges Perec

If you happen to be in Paris, consider a short visit to Place Saint-Sulpice. It’s a place rich in literary references and stories. After a passionate investigation, the Italian writer and humanist Umberto Eco discovered that D’Artagnan and Aramis lived in nearby streets. An episode of the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown takes place in the Church of Saint Sulpice, the building after which the square took its name .

New York Street Scene – Joaquin Torres-Garcia (1920)