The Modern Movement banned ornament from architecture, but What is Ornament shows how it has regained momentum since the Post-War, and has now become crucial for the rational production of meaningful architecture. The exhibition explains, through a series of thematic sections showing historical and contemporary production, how ornament has never completely disappeared, and how it can still exist today as a relevant and essential issue.
In recent years, ornament has frequently been associated with the realm of digital architecture and, generally, to the figurative treatment of evenly-decorated building envelopes. The risk of this banalization is a drastic loss of complexity and, basically, the transformation of ornament into mere decoration.
Sam Jacob and Priya Khanchandani curate a reinterpretation of Owen Jones’s Grammar of Ornament, examining its Victorian-era imperialist attitudes while considering ornament as a marker of cultural identity. The work includes a series of framed prints, a wallpaper, and an online catalogue of new patterns commissioned specifically for this project (the last of which will remain available long after the exhibition is dismantled). Among these artists, 10 are UK-based: Rana Begum, Adam Furman, Farshid Moussavi, Pablo Bronstein, Sinta Tantra, Arthur Mamou-Mani, OMMX and Lubna Chowdhary.
Timothy Smith, Jonathan Taylor and their postgraduate design students at the Kingston School of Art in London contribute various pieces to this exhibition including drawings, plans and fragments.
David Leech Architects was established in London in 2016 to pursue contemporary projects across a diverse range of type, scale and budget, from furniture to building. Their “Extension to Victorian terrace” will be present in the form of an architectural model. Curatorship: Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene
More information: https://2019.trienaldelisboa.com/en/