Title

Re: Ornament

Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Graphic Design

First Advisor

Bethany Johns

Second Advisor

Douglass Scott

Third Advisor

Kathleen Sleboda

Abstract

Re:Ornament calls for a rethinking of ornament within the history and practice of design, urging a broad reconsideration of ornament’s value and a complete reimagining of ornament’s future potential. Charting the arc of ornament in the Western tradition, this thesis reexamines the impact of modernism’s rejection of ornament—and, with it, its embedded culture, history, knowledge and craft.

Studying ornament’s structure as a language, I make the case for ornament’s inherent beauty and excess and speculate on how ornament could apply to thinking and making beyond design. Through graphic form, material exploration and pattern thinking, I negotiate these complexities with work that is intrinsically structural, deeply ornamental and often a hybrid of the material and the digital, the hand and the machine. As such, my work is not only a response to—or rebuttal of—modernism, but also a call to action and an invitation to remember, re-calibrate and remake our perception and use of ornament today.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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