Monday, September 24, 2012

William Morris and the Red House

Yesterday I visited the Red House in Bexleyheath, designed by William Morris.

There is a lot of discussion about Software Craftsmanship Manifesto, but only a few developers know about the original Arts and Craft movement and its founder.

The house, sadly, is only a shadow of what it should have been when the Morrises lived there. Nevertheless, walking inside you can look and feel how everything was planned for a reason and beautifully crafted. This kind of incredible care for details, it really gives you a feeling of the meaning of Craftsmanship.

This visit made me very excited but also very humble about Software Craftsmanship. Can we ever hope to reach those levels in our job?

In the living room, over the fireplace was inscribed Morris' motto:
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS (there are so many things to learn and master and time is fleeting)
Which I think is a nice thing to be reminded of when watching the television (actually I know that it was not invented yet in Victorian age).

The garden is also a piece of beauty, but yesterday it was pouring rain and we cut short the walk in the garden.

Incidentally, although very different, I think there is a common feeling between Japanese Wabi-Sabi and Victorian Arts and Crafts. Simple, unimposing, natural are adjectives that can be applied for both. Can they be applied to good code too?

Now some pictures:

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