History of the Beauty Dialogues

The Beauty Dialogues came out of a conversation between myself, Ashley Cooper & Beth Alexander during a walk we were taking together during a Spring 2006 Summit of ‘Girl Geeks’ in Seattle.

We were noticing how absolutely beautiful we found a particular tree, or perhaps it was the pattern on the ground made by the sun shining through its leaves that we found so moving… we started to wonder aloud about what it is that makes some things beautiful in that aching, haunting kind of way… what it is in that particular moment or material that evokes the ‘beauty!’ response in one or another of us.

What is beauty, anyway? Is it different for each person? Or is there some ‘objective’ measurement, like Christopher Alexander’s calibration of the amount & quality of ‘life’ in each element, to what we collectively experience as Beauty? Is it a pleasing surface symmetry, or is it some deeper indication of wholeness and pattern that triggers the awareness of beauty in our midst? What is the ‘essence’ of beauty?

And thus started an inquiry that has already blossomed into a thousand forms, including this blog; a conversation that I hope will continue to meander like a healthy river through our curious minds for some time to come.

Something truly remarkable to me about that summit of eight women in Seattle was the way we all see Beauty at the center of our lives and work … this and the passionate belief we share in using the power of technology to enhance the sense of community and connection between people. Beauty in action, if you will. This perspective seems to be a particularly feminine point of view, and feels like something deeply needed in the world right now. It’s a perspective that brings balance and begins to restore wholeness, not only to the way we see and utilize technology, but also to our ability to face and respond to the larger challenge for humanity in today’s world.

And so we wind around to another layer of the conversation… what is our work with Beauty in service to?