Chapter 6

Scripted productivity: Gaudí’s rose windows

In the previous chapter I briefly introduced the Paramorph, which now reappears here in more detail in the context of productivity. We saw in Chapter 4 a potential dialectic emerge between alternate philosophies of scripting to save time, that is productivity in the sense of automation towards labour-saving, versus scripting to be more productive in that time through assisting creative processes. The former could be regarded as being financially driven, while the latter is a quality issue. In Chapter 3 I described how it was the need to be more efficient at drawing Gaudí’s curves that first pointed me to scripting. Here I am dealing only with the latter: using scripting to do more design in the design-allotted time.

This chapter looks at the generic design object and at the ability of scripting to pursue greater variety and subtlety than would be possible using traditional media. It uses an historical project as a means to show that the idea might transcend the technical knowhow, by considering an example of creative play from a world figure who died long before digital design had even been thought of.

I am going to condense Gaudí’s clerestory window for the Sagrada Família church as the case study for both this chapter and the next. The clerestory window runs along the length of the central nave illuminating the central aisle over 35 metres below. This is an important architectural element of Gaudí’s final design for the nave ...

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