MP3 players existed more than two years before Apple introduced the sleek iPod in 2001. Personal computers exploded in popularity when the graphical interfaces of Apple and Windows became the norm, rather than the text code of MS-DOS. Even humanity itself only took off when Adam lost a rib to the more aesthetically-pleasing Eve. If you want something to be popular, no matter how worthy the product, it helps to make it look good.
“As a consumer, I don’t [purchase] anything unless I’m inspired,” says Kira Heuer, the artist and entrepreneur behind the glassware company Bib&Sola. “And if I’m excited to do something, and it engages me aesthetically, it’ll make me do it.”
This is the simplest definition of “aesthetic activism,” the phrase that Kira has coined to sum up her work. By engaging consumers’ sense of beauty, she can also get them to think about the world and inspire them to act. “I look to Aesthetic Activism as a way for us to purchase with an underlying inspired delight; to be part of something greater than us, yet still giving us the satisfaction and pleasure of beautiful products...It’s a way for us to come together as a community through the feeling of empowerment and loving the objects that we purchase.” Aesthetic activism is about awakening the intrinsic values motivating a purchase so that a "must have" accessory is not only stylish, but it becomes something that connects you to a deeper purpose, such as healing Mother Nature.
“It’s a quick draw,” she says. “The eyeballs can be seduced quickly, and when you see something you’re enticed by, usually you’re seeing it first rather than feeling it or hearing it.”