Ornament Theory and Design


Project Description

The taxonomy of phosphene groups indicates that some of the earliest forms of visual language had a sense for symmetry theory as well as an understanding of the 'form constants' as described by Heinrich Klüver.  This indicates a relationship between the geometric patterns and forms of a variety of formal traditions in ornament and the predisposition to certain pattern-forms created by the visual cortex, or as some have speculated, by the organization of retinal cells. By tapping into these seemingly universal forms, I am attempting to create an ornamental system which references both the contextual specifics of that which is being ornamented and to universals that are rooted in the visual language of pattern recognition and the history of traditional ornament.

In this particular project I am linking the taxonomy of ornamental systems to the taxonomies of organization within the building. The organization of the contents of this seed library are linked to this diagram and then expressed through an ornamental system. It occurs at moments of public/private thresholds, providing a link between the exterior world, the interior organization of the building and its contents, and through to a long tradition of communicative ornament rooted in these form constants and phosphene groups.