Our cultural values and beliefs define what we find beautiful. Mattel recently had to redesign Barbie to keep pace with a shifting feminine body image, away from the anorexic long legged 60s model to a somewhat more realistically curvy one, although Rubens' buxom female bodies would still be considered overweight. Someone in our small town had a problem with the looks of a solar panel array in the midst of a field off a local country road. But with changing times and changing values what is perceived as beautiful or ugly changes as well.
I have always liked the juxtaposition of old and new, such as an old building that has been renovated and to which contemporary elements have been added, like the glass pyramid in the Parisian Louvre courtyard. The Europeans are very good at melding old and new elements so the old elements don't seem stuck in the past. On the contrary, in juxtaposition the new elements looks more new and the old elements looks more old. They both inform each other in a very attractive way.
I love the traditional looks of our charming little Norman Rockwellish town. Yet, I find the mini solar panels, newly added to the downtown street lanterns, really cool because they fuse old charm with new technology, a layering of values expressed in the streetscape. Respect for the old with the recognition that things must change and evolve. What do you think?