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Is Ornament in Architecture Beautiful or Criminal?

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Jacob Harris

Ornament in architecture is the placement of sculpture or art on a building. This design strategy is common in classical architecture, and ornament can be seen on doors, windows, columns, cornices, facades, and more. In the eye of the classical architect this adds to the overall beauty of classical buildings. It is common for modern architecture to utilize little to no ornament. A famous modern architect by the name of Adolf Loos was even bold enough to refer to ornament in architecture as a "crime". The classical architect sees ornament as good, whereas the modern architect sees ornament as bad. This research project seeks to understand what the average person is drawn to when it comes to this topic, whether that be ornament or no ornament. Using an eye tracking emulation software it is my hypothesis that the average person is more attracted to a building with ornament. I will be doing a comparison of two temples built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that reside in the same city. This includes the Provo Utah and Provo City Center temples. Using the software I will be able to determine where people are more likely to look as well as their gaze sequence. This study aims to reinforce that an increase in ornament will hold our attention more than a building without it.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #A1
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Architecture
Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro