LESS IS MORE? NOT ANYMORE

by Secondome

There are certain phenomenons that need an effort written on paper to became an accepted reality, even though they are under everyone’s eyes. One of those is definitely the assertive comeback of décor. Texture and pattern, to mention the most relevant, are again ahead of the curve and the research for new surfaces is leading designers and companies to experiment on the ornament. An ornament which quite never ends in itself but is functional.

Rilievi | Zaven per Cedit

On this décor comeback takes stock an interesting book by Cinzia Pagni, just out for Franco Angeli. “Ornament is not a crime anymore” aligns years of trends in the design world to reach a conclusion: the era of less is more is now definitely behind our backs and Adolf Loos – who inspired the Pagni’s book’s title with his own “Ornament is a crime” – now would encounter serious difficulties to structure his thesis.

Proust | Alessandro Mendini

But what happened to make the design world abandon progressively rationalism and its derivations? First of all, explains the author – professor at the Milan Politecnico – the long wave of architects and designers raised within the rationalist school exhausted itself, so that masters and referrals changed, has it normally happens. However the reasons are not exclusively a question of age. In a flexible, multiethnic, multicultural and hyper technological society, design has become more and more mixed. There is no more – and it couldn’t have been otherwise – an univocal code and language, contamination prevails. And in this multitude of symbols that décor and ornament find their new strength to assert themselves, not just as aesthetic elements, but as planning one.

Una Bar cabinet | Stefano Marolla per Secondome

The pattern is becoming a textbook case. Previously Robert Levit, scholar and winner of several design prizes, already stated the reaffirmation of hypnotical decorative patterns is not a simple expression of the need of decoration, but much more. Today, says Pagni, the pattern making is everywhere, more often than not subordinate to the function, as restoration of a symbolic data, exalted by technology and 3D. So, not just graphic, at all “The idea of the immateriality of digital technologies and the consequential possibilities open to unexpected opportunities – writes Pegni – to determine a future in the décor evolution. These are the elements which will more and more influence a project.” That’s why we can’t go back to a time without décor. “Design, in its chameleonic path through the labyrinths of the modifications offered by society, has managed to become expression of new sensibilities, which washed away any fear to be considered superficial in using decorations”. From the less is more, we are already into the epic of more and more.