Ornament in Architecture

South Harbor, Finland l 2010

In architecture, ornament has a paradoxical existence in often being the most direct conceptual signifier, yet defined as dysfunctional. Historically ornament has been used as representation of hierarchy and in reference to traditions. The modernists used ornament to create associations with building techniques, industrial environment and a sense of democracy. Today architectural ornament often has a mystifying role, obscuring materiality, disguising scale and mutating the visual distance of subject and context.