Ugly Things

Ugly Things explores why anything is considered to be ugly or of poor taste. The definitions of ‘ugly’ in the Oxford English Dictionary range from aesthetic meanings to more sinister connotations of danger and immorality. To be unattractive is often perceived as being intrinsically linked to inferior quality and moral character. This is best illustrated in Adolf Loos’ famous work Ornament and Crime in which ornamentation is shown to be unnecessary and therefore immoral and ugly by association. Contributors are welcome to discuss anything on this theme, from specific objects to aspects of design and the design process as well as aesthetic theory.

 

 

Avengers Booty Ass-emble by Kevin Block on Deviant Art ©Kevin Block

‘And People Who Are Uglier Than You And I, They Take What They Need, And Just Leave’

Sexual difference is considered to be one of the most obvious things in the world, yet is also the least clearly defined. Biologically, gender is determined by what sexual organs an individual possesses; this does not however dictate what it is to be male or female, nor the gender roles

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©Joanne Pilcher

Acid Green “Pixie”

In the last Ugly Things post, Sophie mentioned a Key Concepts class where we were each asked to bring in an object and discuss the attractiveness or ugliness of these objects based on our own preferences. I thought this would be an appropriate time to discuss my contribution to that

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Children

Last year the History of Design programme ran a class entitled ‘ornament’, which partly explored and questioned how and why the ornamentation of an object might influence whether objects are believed to be examples of good design, or brandished as examples of bad design. We were asked to each bring

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Finding The Ugly Christmas Jumper

As Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day saw its third year this year, Emily and I hoped to investigate why and how there has been a resurgence of love for the Christmas Jumper recently. Each Christmas sees various Ugly Christmas Jumper competitions and this year a festive jumper to represent

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Appreciating Brutalism

Last month, I had the rare opportunity to spend time at Balfron Tower with the National Trust’s temporary opening of Flat 130. Flat 130 was first occupied by its architect, Ernö Goldfinger in 1968 at the building’s opening. The National Trust, in conjunction with Hemingway Design have recreated the flat with

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A Good Design?

A Good Design? Objects from the I.L.E.A./Camberwell Collection The Chelsea Space at Chelsea School of Art recently hosted an exhibition of objects from the Inner London Education Authority (I.L.E.A.) Experiment in Design Appreciation scheme. As a practical response to the 1951 Festival of Britain, a series of designed objects were sent

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Frank the Turkey: Some Thoughts on what it is to be Ugly

I would like to dedicate the Ugly Things column to a nineteen-year-old boy who has, unwittingly, become my muse – my younger brother. A long time ago he won a toy prize in The Claw, an arcade game made famous by the aliens in ‘Toy Story’. Like all arcade prizes,

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