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The Sympathy of Things: Ruskin and the Ecology of Design Paperback – 25 Aug 2011

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About the Author

Lars Spuybroek is Professor of Architectural Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He is the author of NOX: Machining Architecture (2004), The Architecture of Continuity (2008), Research & Design: The Architecture of Variation (2009) and Research & Design: Textile Tectonics (2011).

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Provocative & groundbreaking 10 Feb. 2012
By A Altena - Published on
Format: Paperback
The new book by Lars Spuybroek is nothing less than a complete reassement of the concept of Beauty for the 21ste century, a time in which we are able to make beauty appear thanks to the machines and algorithms - our tools. Not a return to hand-made crafting, but a looking forward to a form of crafting using the possiblities of (computer)technology. Spuybroek provocatively says goodbye to the modernist horrors of the 20th century and its fascination with the sublime, to return to Beauty again. He does this through a dialogue with writings of John Ruskin, as well as with for instance William James, Schelling (the idea of pure productivity) and Bruno Latour. Beauty is a concept which comprises variation and imperfection, and it takes care of a sympathy between things, and between humans and things. In the end this becomes a call for an ecology of design. It's particularly strong in its arguing for a link between beauty and technology - whereas the 20th Century often connected technology and the sublime. There's many more fascinating points in this book, small ones and large ones, on subjects like the Gothic, ornaments, form-finding, Romanticism, Manuel Delanda, Kant, Worringer, new materialism, et cetera, et cetera. A rich book, which will make you think and engage in discussion.
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