Seven Lamps of Architectural Design


  • Bruno Gil University of Coimbra, Department of Architecture - FCTUC / Centre for Social Studies



Architectural Design, Architectural Research


In the present, the contemporary model of the Design and Design Studio is constantly being tested and revised, before a rising heterodoxy of programs and methods. As a key, it is proposed the retrieval of John Ruskin’s essay “Seven Lamps of Architecture”. Written in 1849, the seven principles aimed to rescue, in an almost primitive way, Architecture as an Art that enlightens the remaining ones.  It returns to the example of Venice’s medieval stones to go forward on the symbolic indefiniteness of the industrial age, alerted by Pugin (1836). Ruskin’s lamps would indicate the modern way for the “total artwork” by William Morris. With Morris, the Design would be a part of a single process from concept to work, anticipating Bauhaus’s Modern Design - the “gesamtkunstwerk”.

From Ruskin, more than the title, we propose to emulate the diligent attitude in clarifying a context, that in the present times increasingly concerns the indefiniteness between Design and Research within the education of the architect. We risk the “Seven Lamps of Architectural Design”. Not absolute, nor ideological, the lamps of “memory”, “research”, “method”, “projection”, “knowledge”, “language” and “invention”, are considered invariants, yet critical, for the enlightenment of the role of research in the design process. What research, individual or collective, subjective or objective, phenomenological or scientific, does the Architectural Design want? 


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Author Biography

Bruno Gil, University of Coimbra, Department of Architecture - FCTUC / Centre for Social Studies

Architect graduated from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, 2005. Following the graduation thesis “Architecture School, Today” continues research in that subject. Currently, is developing the PhD Thesis “Architectural Research Centres: towards research in 21st Century architecture schools” at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) and the Department of Architecture of the University of Coimbra. Co-founder of the magazine NU, was its director between 2003 and 2004.






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