Ornament is (not) a Crime

2016_Ornament not a crime

Together with a couple of my colleagues, I was privileged to host a workshop for a group of design professionals (+15) at VCBO Architecture’s office in Salt Lake City.

The workshop was titled “Ornament is (not) a Crime.” It offered a critique of Adolf Loos’ 1908 book titled Ornament and Crime. The presentation looked at the importance of architectural ornamentation and defined it as an enrichment of a building to reveal its use and purpose. Decoration, on the other hand, adds beauty by making the structural systems more legible, as defined by Denis McNamara. The fractal detail and composition of ornamentation is particularly beneficial on the brain, per the arguments and research of Matthew McNicholas. The workshop discussed how successful vegetal ornament is typically a hybrid between the abstract and realistic.