Tangle Jungle



Atlanta, GA

Prof. Lars Spuybroek with Sabri Gokmen

Student Team
Zachary Damon Brown, Katherine Elizabeth Cooper Dunatov, Amyn Mukadam-Soldier, Yinzi Tan, Abaan Ali Muhammad, Michael Douglas Bennett, Katherine Giraldo, Aaron Robert Coffman

Laser Cut Acrylic Sheets, Acrylic Glue, Stainless steel cables

The meaning of Daedalus, the mythical builder of the Minoan labyrinth, inventor of artificial wings (leading to the death of his son Icarus) and numerous other contraptions, goes beyond that of the well-known artificer. In ancient Greek the name transformed into the verb daidallein, which not only carries the meaning of cunning machinery, but also embellishment. Two meanings that architects tend to completely separate from each other: mechanics or workings, and that of ornament or embellishment. Our study will focus on how to repair that age-old connection.

Generally workings or mechanics are represented by very simple networked relations between parts, such as the relations between atoms in large molecules or between rooms in a system of circulation. From the carpets of William Morris, however, we will learn relations can be much more complex than simple black lines connecting up black dots. Though at first it seems strange to look at Morris’ patterns not as representations of nature, after some careful study we will find what a precise logic drives his intricate intertwinings of twigs, leaves and flowers. Things do not merely connect, but can slide along each other, or lock into each other, or overlap to form complex knots. We will look at properties such as “entanglement,” “bifurcation,” “sprouting” and “flourishing” etc. to understand what the rules behind Morris’s compositions are. We will find that the designs form a closed family where the variations between the rugs are wholly computable.