5 Other kinds of ornament
The ornamental structure most often comes from the material, and from the way a thing is being made.
The brick was laid in a diagonal herringbone pattern. This is an old traditional method. But the fundamental idea that an alternating repetition of this kind is a natural way to embellish a flat rectangular panel comes straight from structure-preserving ideas. On either side of the window opening a latent structure appears which is asymmetrical, pointing away from the window, and upwards. Thus, the morphological field which is there, before the bricks are laid, already points to a structure of this kind. The bricks just implement, embody, that structure. That is why they look harmonious.
And the thistle shape we had cut to go above the arch. That is an archetypal center, it has good shape, and many smaller strong centers within its own perimeter. That is why it strengthens the arch shape, ties it into the horizontal bands of stone and concrete — and thus makes positive space. Again, that is why it looks so harmonious there, because it comes from a structure that was already there, latent, before we invented this embodiment.
#book/The Nature of Order/3 A Vision of a Living World/18 Ornament as part of all unfolding#