Have you been up there?
Just high enough to get that perfect view from the window seat when you fly on that aircraft? When the buildings were taller than you, and then they gradually seem smaller, and then within fractions of minutes they look tiny; almost unreal, like those models you’ve seen made by architects? They actually seem to be made of styrofoam and cardboard; trees made of coloured sponge stuck on sticks. The whole town looks like a miniature project we often made in school when we were young. And then suddenly as we cruise to greater heights, it all becomes a haze. And you don’t see it anymore…
What happened when you were up there?
A lot happened without you realizing it. The cracks on the building became less evident. The dirt and the sewage became invisible. The traffic didn’t seem that bad on the streets. The sea didn’t seem so dark. For some reason, everything looked beautiful. A bird’s eye view changes perspectives. When you learn to zoom out, you see a LOT beyond and around your usual narrow focus. You almost get a panoramic view of things. It’s a whole new introduction to perspective.
Break things down
Gestalt’s principle emphasizes that the ‘whole’ is different from the ‘sum of its parts’. When you break something it should ideally represent parts of the same whole. But it doesn’t. Just like those pieces of furniture and lighting and upholstery and flooring and wall colours, which were all definitely lovely when your architect bought them at the store; but once the home was assembled together with these ‘parts’, it did greater justice to the beauty of the entire house. The whole décor suddenly seemed like it was all custom-made to perfection to adorn your home. That bird’s eye view helps you change your viewpoint and appreciate things because you ‘look’ at them differently.