It’s easy to be critical when you’re opposed to something. What’s more interesting is to try and understand the qualities that underpin a vision. All the more so when that vision and the accompanying experiment are revealed as openly and honestly and daringly as Lars Spuybroek reveals in his inspiring book Machining Architecture.

Clearly, the word 'blob' is far too simple and vague a notion with which to classify the work of NOX. Of all the blob-makers, Greg Lynn, UN Studio, Kas Oosterhuis, Maurice Nio and the many others, Spuybroek to me is the only one who genuinely experiments with the way in which structure and material can orchestrate experience freely and by way of association. How space is created using various routes, sound, the body, the eye, and perception. The blob-makers largely confine themselves to the beauty of the autonomous object. That is definitely not the aim as far as NOX is concerned. After all, the unpredictable result that Finding-Form generates often looks terrible. And a good thing that is, because otherwise the form would already have supplied the answer to the question whether it was beautiful or ugly. Architect Lars Spuybroek isn't interested in regulating functions and comfort. Instead, the technology he deploys as a destabilising force should steer our desire for chance occurrences and a diversity of possibilities and events.

The book review can be read at the critical, independent architecture website in the Netherlands:

NOX Machining Architecture
Book review, ArchiNEd website

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