Messing with ornament: Theory and impure subjects

Tina Engels-Schwarzpaul
Vol 18, Number 1, p.58
This article describes my experiences while working on my PhD thesis 'Myth, Symbol and Ornament: the Loss of Meaning in Transition .' My interest in the topic stems from my observations, as a professional designer since 1978, of a huge gap between the official doctrine of the nature and status of ornament as promoted by designers and critics, and the views and practices of users regarding ornament. An early hunch in my research was that somehow this gap was related to the way people gave, conceded or denied meaning to ornament.