Well, Alan Moore argues that it is. In his book "Do/Design : Why beauty is key to everything" he makes a wonderful argument for the importance of beauty. At the start of the book, he writes "I have always been fascinated by beautiful things: architecture, furniture, books. Beautiful things are prepared with love. The act of creating something of beauty is a way of bringing good into the world. Infused with optimism, it says simply: Life is worthwhile."
This resonates wonderfully with what we write in our book "The Design Way - intentional change in an unpredictable world" in the chapter "The splendor of design" about when a design "becomes a conveyor of soul" and "We are struck by the emotional power of such a design-by its beauty, integrity, and usefulness. We marvel at the way it bestows meaning and value on itself, on the lives it touches and in its environment." (p 191).
There is a lack of appreciation of beauty today. And of its role and power. We need more of it!