The Language of Ornament
by James Trilling
I'm reading this now and it's fascinating because it brings the background into the foreground. It's the background of backgrounds. It focuses on the evolution of those patterns and styles that are primarily meant to enhance something else rather than be itself. It mentions that 12,000 years ago, people began using spirals to decorate objects. Before that, people made figures (paintings/carvings that were supposed to represent things they saw in the world) but spirals were an early and widespread purely decorative design. (Apparently across cultures
.) Since I read this fact, I've been looking for spirals everywhere without finding them. There's something completely asymmetrical about a 2-D spiral, and I'm guessing it doesn't fit into the modern design palette. But I'm determined to find them. With the discovery that DNA is sort of a double-spiral, you'd think it would have an ornamental comeback. Have you seen any spirals out there?
, symbols.com entry
, archimedes' spiral