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Accident by Design: Creating and Discovering Beauty

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A gnarled tree trunk; a chemical reaction; a sunset; a mathematical equation; a dancer; a biological organism; a Vermeer painting; in their own unique way, all of these are beautiful.

One of the deepest human responses is the experience of beauty. What, though, awakens or stirs our sense of beauty?

This fascinating documentary explores the common principles of aesthetics. It illustrates how these same principles apply to the arts as well as to the powerful sense of wonder we sometimes feel when we look at nature itself and to what scientists can experience when they suddenly discover a new pattern in their data or a model that unifies it.

With its ingenious montage of images and commentary, Accident by Design bridges the arts and sciences. The film masterfully intercuts images of painting and sculpture with images from dance, science and nature and links them with thought-provoking commentary.

Beautiful, moving and profound, Accident by Design is a remarkable film which reveals fresh insights with each viewing.

1998, 50 min 44 s