The Berlage


Toward a New Ornament


In this lecture, Piovenefabi will provocatively reconfigure the contemporary discussion about ornament, focusing on its current appropriation and interpretation. In doing so, they will argue that it seems to be natural to investigate the contemporary form and proportion of a column; to carefully consider the junctions among architectural elements; to question the nature of cladding, as a project rather than as a consequence; to design expressive facades with images and typography; and to dress surfaces with patterns, motifs, textures, materials, and colors. Piovenefabi is a Milanese architecture office founded by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene and based in Milan and Brussels. In 2019, they co-curated the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, where they organized the exhibition, conference, and book entitled “What is Ornament?.”

This lecture is part of the Berlage Keynotes, an ongoing lecture series by internationally prominent practitioners, designers, and thinkers. A selection of speakers from different disciplines, including architects, artists, filmmakers, and theorists, present how their work engages with contemporary design issues and debates. Organized and hosted by the Berlage, the series is part of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment’s Thursday evening public program. This fall semester, speakers include Baukunst, Béka & Lemoine, Theo Deutinger, Flores & Prats, Adriaan Geuze, Gigon/Guyer, Piovenefabi, and Studio Gang.