A visual companion to “The Decriminalization of Ornament”

In Alice Twemlow’s essay, The Decriminalization of Ornament, there are several references to designers, galleries, etc., that I was not familiar with. Here’s a handy all-in-one visual companion with links to go along with that essay.

From top left to bottom right

1) Tord Boontje garland light: http://tordboontje.com/

2) Room in the Volkswagon sponsored Project Fox hotel and a video of the hotel’s launch

designers chosen by Die Gestalten

3) Exposif Wallpaper  curated by the Maxalot gallery in Barcelona

4)  Geneviève Gauckler

5) Laurent Fétis

6) a page from a book designed by W.A. Dwiggins

7)a page from Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament (1856)

8) Goudy typeface by Frederic Goudy

9) Book cover design by Enid MarxEnglish Popular Art

10) textile design by Hella Jongerius


MATTER design & homewares in Brooklyn

Alice Twemlow’s essay on The Decriminalization of Ornament opens up with a mention to MATTER‘s adaptable logo at the time (circa 2005), which she describes as “an ornate graphic flourish. At the centre of the heraldic device is the store’s initial letter with a crown hovering above it and its address in a slanted spidery script dangling below. Symmetrically arranged around the central medallion are gothic-looking sprays of feathers and some looping vine tendrils that evoke the fluid calligraphic line found in Art Nouveau wrought ironwork. ”

Contrast the verbosely described former logo  to Matter’ current austere, blocky logo which reflects the times of 2012:

Which makes me begin to think at the time the essay was published in 2005, the use of ornament felt whisimical and fresh, but perhaps now it is a bit ubiquitous and might fall out of general favor with the public in a few years? A reaction to what to the previous movement makes sense, but in 2012, it’s hard to be sure what will happen. What seems to be on trend currently is the revival for the mid-century modern aesthetic in furniture, fashion, and tv (i.e. Mad Men ) , but perhaps with a twist? I think Matter’s current logo reflects this.

But at the same time, amidst the majority of the sleek, simply elegant, and sometimes naturalistic wares offered for sale, they still sell quirky and ornately designed wallpaper, rugs, and fixtures.

Matter carries some gorgeous wallpaper designed by Glasgow based Timorous Beasties and Tres Tintas from Barcelona which feature ornate patterns and designs.

From top left to bottom right: Iguana, Birds N Bees, White Moth by Timorous Beasties, Happy, Vergel, Perlas, All City Papers, and Pelos by Tres Tintas.