Christine Cangelosi | “Weaving: Sheila Hicks’ Miniatures”

Jose Pejares| “Felting: Claudy Jongstra’s Artwork”

Polychromy: Architecture and Mood

Vertical Studio (Grad + UGrad)


Fall 2012 + Spring 2013

Georgia Institute of Technology

Instructors: Prof. Lars Spuybroek + Sabri Gokmen

This studio will concentrate on the specific topic of polychromy and mood within the larger framework that we have focused on over the last years: digital design and beauty. The first means we will be setting up a design methodology that starts by researching patterns and slowly transform these into architectural inventions to finally result in buildings. The second, beauty, has become more and more important in our studio for different reasons. One, that beauty has been the most underrated quality of design since (post)modernism, the other, that beauty is not some subjective phenomenon, but part of larger collective moods capable of communicating values transcending the solving of utilitarian problems.

We will base our research on two of the nineteenth-century’s most important theoreticians of the relationship between the structure-side and the ornament-side of pattern. On the one hand, we will look at Gottfried Semper’s Bekleidungsprinzip, which states architecture is founded more on textile and its notions of weaving and coloring, than, say, on the tectonics of sticks, be they made of wood or concrete. On the other hand, we will investigate John Ruskin’s notion of the “wall veil” – a term to emphasize the use in architectural design of encrustation, the covering of surfaces with colored cladding. Both men theorized the need in architecture to radiate a certain atmosphere. All the other qualities of architecture, such as structure, space and program are to be derived from this fundamental sense of beauty. 

The studio will consist of two groups that will study the problem from two different angles: (a) flexible sticks: threads, tubes, strips, etc. based on the patterning derived from textile techniques, such as weaving or macrame; and (b) flexible patches: triangles, diamonds, quads, etc. based on the patterning derived from mosaic or tessellation techniques, such as triangulation or non-periodic tiling. Each group will work in pairs until midterm and split into individuals after that. All patterns will be studied in relation to materials, colors and spatial arrangements so as to research how they can interact and produce various moods. Together with their instructors students will choose their own site and program for their project.


Greg Hall | “Weaving: Sheila Hicks’ Miniatures”

Hyo Jae Lee| “Felting: Claudy Jongstra’s Artwork”