In The Sympathy of Things, Lars Spuybroek argues that we must "undo" the twentieth century--the age in which the eighteenth-century ideal of the Sublime (the aspiration towards overwhelming awe) became a technological reality. Spuybroek returns to the insights of the great nineteenth-century art writer John Ruskin, for whom beauty always comprises variation, imperfection and fragility. Spuybroek argues that these three concepts not only define relations between humans and their designed products but between all things: "sympathy is what things feel when they shape each other." Spuybroek then compares five twinned themes in Ruskin--the Gothic and work, ornament and matter, sympathy and abstraction, the picturesque and time, ecology and design--with later philosophers and theorists such as William James and Bruno Latour. "If Spuybroek, like Ruskin, does not shake your design and aesthetic concepts," writes Charles Jencks, "you haven't understood him."