Read the following assigned essay:
Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime (1908), in Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century
Architecture, edited by Ulrich Conrads, rev. ed. (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1970), ONLY PAGES 19-24.
In a four to five-page reflective essay, respond to the following question: Is Loos correct: have modern
man and modern culture evolved to the point where ornament is obsolete today?
This assignment is not a summary of Loos essay. Rather, you are to engage with Loos ideas and consider their relevance today. You are to consider more broadly the role of ornament in todays culture, and even consider what types of ornament exist if any. Start with thinking about the spaces and places you inhabit or admire, the things you own and the things you want, the clothes you wear, your desires and aspirations.
Also, consider the larger culture. Is ornament obsolete today? If not, should it be? Why? Or, is ornament beneficial, or even necessary, for modern, contemporary life? Provide examples from contemporary life that support your argument. (Go beyond the issue of tattoos!).
Remember that this is an architecture course: relate your analysis back to architecture.
This assignment requires you to read and digest Loos essay and then take some time to think and reflect upon the larger issues and their implications.
While this assignment is not a summary of Loos essay, it is a critique of it. You must reference Loos ideas and relate your essay to his. Loos ideas, arguments, and any quotations must be properly cited.
Be mindful, however, that Loos essay is only a jumping-off point to your consideration of ornament todaywhich is your principal task.
Avoid using the first person (i.e., I think that). Rather, write persuasively in the third person.
A successful essay will:
demonstrate a fundamental understanding of Loos essay and its big ideas
thoughtfully and critically analyze the presence and role of ornament in contemporary life, culture, and architecture
Additional research is not required nor expected on this assignment. Engage with the reading yourself. Direct quotations and major ideas of the authors must be cited. For the purposes of this one-source assignment, simply use an in-line parenthetical citation with the authors last name and page number. For example: No ornament can any longer be made today by anyone who lives on our cultural level (Loos, 23). There is no need for a bibliography for
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