Edith Wunsch
Diploma 13

Exquisitely Mundane

Influenced by Alois Riegl’s Problems of Style, this project interrogates the aesthetic of contemporary ornament.
If for the Egyptians ornament was based on an initial stylization of nature and for the Greeks a naturalization of this stylization, perhaps the contemporary sense of form (Formgefuhl) is an amalgamation of two worlds.
One is the hyper-real world that is brought to us through computerization and our media-controlled environment in which it is possible to manufacture or render anything possible. The other is the haptic, textured world, which we engage with less and less in everyday life.
In the course of developing this contemporary ornament, the project draws both on Riegl’s definition of artistic intent (Kunstwollen), and re-establishes a connection to the evolution of ornament, starting with Ancient Egypt.
Three main themes dominate the design of the ornament: Mundane to Exquisite,  Artistic Entropy vs Classical Regularity, and Projective Distortion.

Through the application of ornament in the design of a country house, the spirit of translating the mundane site into the exquisite artefact, the design seeks to immerse itself in the rough, untamed nature of the original site. This is achieved by creating a man-made field condition as opposed to a traditional enclosure, by integrating nature as part of the artefact rather than a backdrop to a stage, and imitating real nature rather than portraying an arcadian landscape.

Kenwood House landscape gardenOrnament Plates predominantly employed in design at architectural scaleOrnament Plates predominantly employed in design at architectural scale