Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2016–17

Simen L. Meyer
Ornament is Crime

In 1910, the architect and purist radical Adolf Loos gave a lecture, entitled Ornament and Crime. Loos credited himself with having made the discovery that would shape the 20th century: “The evolution of culture is synonymous with the removal of ornament from utilitarian objects.” His words echoed throughout the 20th century as the battle cry of the Modernist Avant-Garde. As a result of this, we now live in an age where the knowledge of crafts and skills passed down by generations are on the brink of extinction, and need to make a comeback if it is at all to survive!

The ornament that Loos feared, more so than Modernist sobriety, satisfies our human impulse to look for harmony and patterns. It has a warmth to it, and it reminds us that there is more to life than just ‘govern needs.’ My work relies both on new technologies as much as century-old crafts, utilizing genuine gold leaf in my bespoke designs.

Graphic design is not only a visual expression of great ideas, but a symbiosis between these ideas and visual aesthetics. Through my skills as a draftsman, as well as a designer, I want to show that we can find enjoyment in banality, to bring beauty back as a virtue, and to find meaning in seemingly meaningless ornament. In this world, where everyone is trying to come up with the next great idea, all I ever wanted to do was to create something beautiful for someone else to enjoy.


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Promoting Seeing: A Contemporary Situationist
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Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2016–17