Re:Ornament



Aleks

Dawson


Abstract


Re:Ornament calls for a rethinking of ornament within the history and practice of design, urging a broad reconsideration of ornament’s value and a complete reimagining of ornament’s future potential. Charting the arc of ornament in the Western tradition, this thesis reexamines the impact of modernism’s rejection of ornament—and, with it, its embedded culture, history, knowledge and craft.
            Studying ornament’s structure as a language, I make the case for ornament’s inherent beauty and excess and speculate on how ornament could apply to thinking and making beyond design. Through graphic form, material exploration and pattern thinking, I negotiate these complexities with work that is intrinsically structural, deeply ornamental and often a hybrid of the material and the digital, the hand and the machine. As such, my work is not only a response to—or rebuttal of—modernism, but also a call to action and an invitation to remember, recalibrate and remake our perception and use of ornament today.




Introduction



Loos in the Coffee House


For millennia the Western tradition appears to have harbored a distinct distrust for the decorative, arguing almost obsessively over definitions of beauty and excess; and specifically as they relate to ornament. 



What is Ornament?



Module, Proportion,
Symmetry & Rhythm