Reading Ruskin, Hogarth and Worringer:
The Architecture of NOX/Lars Spuybroek

The Exhibition
Reading Ruskin, Hogarth and Worringer – The Architecture of NOX/Lars Spuybroek is a multileveled exhibition presenting a rich variety of Spuyroek’s work. The choreography of space using analog and digital computing and the relationship between flexibility, movement, material and structure all come together to create an intimate experience portraying the artist’s/architect’s unique interpretation of past, present and future.

The exhibition takes us on an intellectual journey from the writings of Ruskin, Hogarth and Worringer, through Spuybroek’s inner workings and to the final production of new realms of space, sound and movement.

T.S. Eliot said of the literary tradition that every new master makes us read previous authors in a new way. In much the same way, each new architectural approach also changes the way we look at the past…

Spuybroek’s interpretation of these theories is at the foundation of his work, namely the principle of movement and the perception of space through human participation. Space is not complete without human presence. This gives new meaning to the term “Humanism”, in which space is not only defined by proportions, scale and composition but also by the actions of living. It presents a moral, physical and psychological point of view, which includes in its framework enough different meanings in a highly interrelated state as to invite or allow new interpretations.

Exhibition layout
The exhibition layout resembles one of Frei Otto’s form-finding experimentations or Semper’s knots. The visitor passes through vertical panels of building models and photographs of book texts enhancing the intimate visit to the architect’s work. This system may seem contrary to Spuybroek’s theory of presentation through flurbs (“flexible panels that have a relation both to ground and wall, switching back and forth between diagram and image”3), however, one can quickly comprehend that this is not the case. Like Spuybroek’s architecture, the exhibition changes throughout the “stroll”; what is clear at the onset becomes blurred on closer inspection and vice-versa, thus forcing us to be in constant motion, choreographing our steps throughout the space.

1. John Unrau, Ruskin, the Workman and the Savageness of Gothic, in New Approaches to Ruskin, ed Robert Hewisson, 1981, pp 33-50.
2. Lars Spuibroek, Machining Architectured, Thames & Hudson , p.208.

Year: 2006
Team: Heidi Arad, Noga Lasser

The Exhibition catalog

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