Some accept that Adolf Loos, with his publication of "Ornament and Crime" in 1908, put an end to ornament. Others argue that the real reason for the death of ornament was actually WWI and WW2 where the lack of resources and urgent need for construction meant that fast architecture, modernism and Le Corbusier could prevail.
Ornament is about transformation, interpretation and a deeply personal understanding. It is a method and language by which we are able to communicate and combine emotion, feeling, beauty, symbol and message. Ornament crosses periods of time and style and is timeless - it is different to decoration, which is related to fashion and temporality. Today, we are in an era where brand, image, advertising and iconography are key to the functioning of our world. We are in a period of time where capitalism and commerce rule; our moral, spiritual values and connections to nature are waning. Could now be the time for ornament to provide us with an opportunity to break away from this tendency?
It seems that the time is rife for a reintroduction of ornament into architecture today. The architectural industry as well as education are currently in ecstasy over the new possibilities offered by new manufacturing and design processes related to 3d modeling, CNC, Laser cutting, 3d Printing, parametric design. Architects today are experimenting like never before - deco just got digital! Now we have the opportunity to design ornament and return meaning to our architecture.
Here are some interesting examples from the past and present. What buildings do you think are good examples of ornamental architecture?