The Sympathy of Things

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The Sympathy of Things

Ruskin and the Ecology of Design

Auteur:Lars Spuybroek

Uitgever:Bloomsbury

ISBN: 978-1-4742-4385-8

  • Paperback
  • Engels
  • 352 pagina's
  • 21 apr. 2016

‘We have to find our way back to beauty,’ writes Lars Spuybroek in the introduction to The Sympathy of Things. In this book Spuybroek argues that we must ‘undo’ the twentieth century – the age of minimalism, abstraction and genocides. This leads him to the aesthetical insight of the nineteenth-century English art critic John Ruskin, from which he distils pointers for our time.

In Ruskin’s work, Lars Spuybroek has discovered a treasure trove of concepts in which the beauty of things is determined by a combination of variation, imperfection and fragility. Through these qualities, things once again earn our sympathy and friendship. A sympathy, Spuybroek argues, that not only occurs between human beings and things but also between things themselves: “Sympathy is what things feel when they shape each other.” Like Ruskin, Spuybroek seeks a world that is dedicated to composition and beauty, where things are governed by what Ruskin called the “law of help.”

‘We have to find our way back to beauty,’ writes Lars Spuybroek in the introduction to The Sympathy of Things. In this book Spuybroek argues that we must ‘undo’ the twentieth century – the age of minimalism, abstraction and genocides. This leads him to the aesthetical insight of the nineteenth-century English art critic John Ruskin, from which he distils pointers for our time.

In Ruskin’s work, Lars Spuybroek has discovered a treasure trove of concepts in which the beauty of things is determined by a combination of variation, imperfection and fragility. Through these qualities, things once again earn our sympathy and friendship. A sympathy, Spuybroek argues, that not only occurs between human beings and things but also between things themselves: “Sympathy is what things feel when they shape each other.” Like Ruskin, Spuybroek seeks a world that is dedicated to composition and beauty, where things are governed by what Ruskin called the “law of help.”

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