CARL, Peter

Ornament and Content

Date: Thursday 4 December 2008
Time: 00:00
Running time: 79 mins
The area of architectural design now designated by the word ornament seems to comprise an exceedingly broad field, from transgressive hedonism to bio-morphology. Perhaps the radical ambiguity surrounding patterns has met the radical ambiguity surrounding ornament to produce a field of open invention whose main virtue is the lack of consistency, leaving opportunities for everyone. Several of the motifs raised within the phenomenon of contemporary ornament were once part of a coherent understanding of the relation of architecture to nature, to mathematics/geometry, to beauty/decorum, to making. To those for whom contemporary ornament offers the prospect of content (implying its possible absence), the question arises as to whether we can think beyond the opportunistic references of the dreaded postmodernism. Peter Carl trained at Princeton, after which he joined Cambridge University, where he taught on both Diploma and Graduate Programmes in History and Philosophy of Architecture. His research interests includes contemporary architecture and urban reality. He has been an external examiner at the AA. 'Ornament' Lecture Series co-ordinated by Oliver Domeisen.

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