On ornamentation and function

27 Dec

There seems to be a separation of utility and aesthetics. Where utility is the concrete that is the framework that makes the building work, with pipes and wires supplying the necessary gas,water and electricity. And beauty is the add on panels,paint, and paintings.

However I do not think that beauty and function should be like this. I think the concrete itself should be an ornament as well as a utility which no longer necessitates addons to cover up the ugliness.

Just as Samurai swords are not only a weapon to cut through enemies but in and of itself an ornament.

So concrete,wires and pipes should be ornaments in and of themselves with today’s precise machines making that possible on a mass scale with techno-craftsmen designing such creations. Serving not only a function but also aesthetically pleasing with no impact on the function.

For example the insulation of a wire can glow blue yet consume no electricity only via the stimulation of the presence of electricity itself.

I look forward to the days where basements,fire stairs, industrial sites utility rooms and so forth are themselves works of art as well as wires,pipes and concrete.

I would your thoughts on those ridiculous ideas.









13 Responses to “On ornamentation and function”

  1. Will S. December 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    Old factories, from the early 20th century, with red brick exteriors, small square windows, and the like, can be quite attractive, esp. in comparison to modern factory buildings.

    And old factory buildings with their pipes showing, etc., are valued as attractive, and so repurposed old buildings often have their pipes, etc. intact, even old machinery. I was in a brewpub, recently, which was in an old factory, it had all the pipes showing.

    It’s only in our modern day that new things are much more utilitarian, and less attractive, though admittedly often more efficient.

    • infowarrior1 December 29, 2015 at 1:38 am #

      Actually I am seeing encouraging signs of a re-emphasis on aesthetics as well as function.

      It’s just unfortunate that architects probably influence by a spiritual disease that is afflicting the arts as well build prison like houses and buildings.

      Architects that create such hellish structures should be fired.

      • Will S. December 29, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

        That would be ideal, agreed.

      • infowarrior1 December 29, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

        A return of highly skilled craftsmanship. That aim to create high quality beautiful, functional creations for pretty much all that is manufactured is key.

        Given the precision of machines and its potential of mass production they should be able to surpass the quality and quantity of their medieval equivalents by far superior aesthetics and utility.

        Its a development that is waiting to happen.

      • Will S. December 29, 2015 at 6:23 pm #


  2. Chauncey Tinker December 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    “I would your thoughts on those ridiculous ideas.”

    Nothing ridiculous about them. The opportunities for aesthetics that are being wasted in modern design are immense.

    • infowarrior1 January 1, 2016 at 1:53 am #

      Thanks. It looked ridiculous at 1st glance. But then so is modernity in its many aspects.

    • infowarrior1 January 1, 2016 at 1:56 am #

      Are you also likewise dissatisfied with the aesthetics of basements and of utility rooms that houses the switchboard and rooms like it?

      Since as part of my work experience I actually worked in those parts for extended periods of time and they seem quite depressing to work in.

      • Chauncey Tinker January 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

        I had not thought about those particular places before, but you describe the experience of working in them clearly. In a purely practical sense, if these places have a bad psychological effect on those working in them, then mistakes are more likely to be made and poor workmanship will be the result.

      • infowarrior1 January 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

        That may be true. However that would require experimentation to make sure.

        In comparison to working outdoors in wilderness settings there may be found differences in performance.

        Given breathtaking natural beauty and similar hardship.

    • infowarrior1 January 2, 2016 at 7:40 am #

      Do you have any additional ideas that are not mentioned in this article?

  3. hearthie January 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    Yes, we have lost the appreciation for beauty in daily life – and it is a LOSS. Buildings don’t bother me so much. My pet peeve is the power company’s determination to top trees that are too close to power lines instead of 1) removing them or 2) pruning them properly and attractively. Man-made entropy is usually ugly.

    Have been listening to Ravi Zacharias, and I think it possible that the reason we’re losing so much beauty is because we no longer have a standard for beauty – we no longer say, “Look at what God made!” and try to emulate/complement that. We don’t care about the little things, and the little things add up.

    • infowarrior1 January 6, 2016 at 12:08 am #

      True. See the statement: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” to sum up the attitude to beauty its relativity in comparison to the reality of its objectivity.

      Which is a refraction however imperfect of the glory of the most High God.

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