As a response to deTour 2021’s curatorial theme, this year’s RIBA Talk! is ‘ORNAMENT IS (not a) CRIME!(?)’. The title takes its cue from a 1910 lecture by Adolf Loos on the relationship between two seemingly bipolar design elements: human emotion vs function driven aesthetics.
The Prince of Wales famously described the proposed National Gallery extension by Richard Rogers as a “monstrous carbuncle”, a remark that reflected a distaste for modern functional design which lacks elements that celebrate the decorative craft and is insensitive to human scale. Yet, recent history has cemented the position of functional modernism – an outcome of the Industrial Revolution that gave rise to the mass-produced machine-made materials that surround our cities today.
With the design community facing new challenges ranging from sustainability to the increasing integration of technology in our most routine actions, it’s time to stop and think. Don’t miss this much-needed debate on the relationship between functional design and the enigmatic, emotionally resonant human aesthetic.
Thomas Chung, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, CUHK
1. Jason Hilgefort , Founder, Land and Civilization Compositions
2. Sara Klomps, Director, Zaha Hadid Architects
3. Justin Lau, Project Director, Oval Partnership
4. Kay Wong, Creative Director, Fashion Clinic
5. Alvin Yip, Visiting Professor, CAFA
6. Leon Xu, Lecturer, School of Architecture, CUHK
Associate Professor, School of Architecture, CUHK
Founder, Land and Civilization Compositions
Director, Zaha Hadid Architects
Project Director, Oval Partnership
Creative Director, Fashion Clinic
Visiting Professor, CAFA
Lecturer, School of Architecture, CUHK