Terence Conran is a well known designer, restaurateur, retailer, publisher and also a successful businessman. It was a pleasure to read his biography, an unusual one but good fun to read. Look what he says about having an 'eye':
I think to some extent 'having an eye' comes with the genes. But it can also be developed like other forms of intelligence and sensitivity by education, practice and passion. If children are encouraged to be interested in visual matters, it is amazing how often such latent skills can be prodded into action.
Being receptive to the influences of other people is part of what having an 'eye' is all about. In my case, it happens all the time and I can't really identify one single most rewarding example, unless you count 'France', which I learned to love through the incomparable eye of Michael Wickham, or 'Italy', which I discovered through the eyes of Eduardo Paolozzi.
What has changed as time goes on is my breadth of interest. When I was younger, I tended to be pretty selective about what I liked. As I got older, I saw the beauty in many more things. I remember that I used to hate Gaudi's buildings, but now I see the aesthetic point of his wild, quirky structures.