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Art August, 12 2008

Re-Sampling Ornament at the Swiss Architecutural Museum – Basel

“Exactly 100 years after Adolf Loos wrote Ornament and Crime, a manifesto that effectively relegated ornament in architecture to the peripheries of the discourse, “Re-sampling Ornament” takes a first step towards tracing its re-emergence. For decades the language of architectural ornament has remained largely unspoken, but for a few memorable post-modern architectural experiments. Yet from Owen Jones ‘Grammar of Ornament’ to John Ruskin, Gottfried Semper, Louis Sullivan and William Hogarth – and contemporaries such as Kent Bloomer, a rich vocabulary of opposing and often contradictory theories exists to be readapted, re-sampled, and once again applied at the heart of architectural practice.

Oliver Domeisen’s research at his unit at London’s Architectural Association into the history and contemporary application of ornament in architecture has made it possible to embellish and enrich a mutual selection of new architectural projects with terminology drawn from many dictionaries; allowing for associations and groupings that can identify vital traces of ornament in current practice and at the same time rethink its boundaries, creating a new context within which contemporary projects can be redefined and rethought.”

Curated by Domesien and Francesca Fergeson, the exhibition remains on view until September 21. The Swiss Architectural Museum also has a great online component. 

More views of the show after the jump.

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