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Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity

Once condemned by Modernism and compared to a ‘crime’ by Adolf Loos, ornament has made a spectacular return in contemporary architecture. These new ornamental tendencies are inseparable from innovations in computer technology. The proliferation of developments in design software has enabled architects to experiment afresh with texture, colour, pattern and topology. Though inextricably linked with digital tools and culture, Antoine Picon argues that some significant traits in ornament persist from earlier Western architectural traditions.

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