Spuybroek starts with talking about Ruskin’s argument with industrialism and parallels this to his own connection of Gothic to the critique of modernism. While focusing on the concept and historical architecture, Spuybroek approaches it with a digital eye.

Even though I am familiar with the Gothic architecture, it was always about the aesthetic part and this is my first time looking at it with its structure and system. What interests me is the savageness of Gothic, and how imperfection is the true sign of life. This also related the open system of Gothic architecture, the changefulness of it. The rib, the undefined element. Its function is decided after the building action which provide configuration. It’s finite but not finality, it is not determined for certain function. The changefulness allows the architecture form with perpetual novelty.

Imperfection is in some sort of essential to all that we know of life. Nothing that lives is, or can be, rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part of it is nascent.
_John Ruskin

These characters really amazed me of how the design keeps growing out through the basic structure, and how the simplicity can derive into variety. Even what seems like decoration is also part of the assembly. This make me think of design. While designing for solution, I would also like to pursue for certain aesthetic. However, sometimes I can feel the decision is arbitrary that I am forcing the final product to look like a certain way. This could be a interesting topic that I keep researching, if I could create a system that could self assemble different pattern with only a single input.

The complicated yet appealing structure of Gothic also resonates with one of the core of our class, the notion of craft that is inherent to design. Such as the tracery form, within its structure there is also design. Art, crafts and design are all connected.

While discussing about ornament and pattern it also recalls the first chapter of how structure becomes ornament, and the perpetual novelty of it. Since the structure creates surface for ornament, and the diversity of the environment, all the creations looked different even they start with the same core basis.

Nothing exists without texture, without ornament. All matter that takes on form must necessarily be decorated.
_Lars Spuybroek

Spuybroek mentions the nature is the home of decoration but we just don’t read it that way. This reminds me of the idea of Biomimicry. I went on a workshop learning about biomimicry and the core concept is about discovering pattern in the nature. In the wild, the pattern is more like an after product of functionality and with researching on pattern , we get to find solution for certain question. It is just fascinating how things are all weaving together. Instead of having one instruction with one action, like the if this then that, there could be more flexibility and back and forth within design.

Image credit – V&A Collections 

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