Ornament and Crime (Ornament und Verbrechen), 1910


Adolf Loos's ideas that all ornamentation created in the arts and crafts is superfluous. He argued economically that craftsmen take too long and are paid too little for their work. The consequence for architecture was to dispense with ornamentation of any kind, regardless of the material. All materials should not be wasted either.

He supported the ornamentation of the material, like the grain of wood and stone.

Adolf Loos first gave the lecture on this topic in 1910 at the Akademischer Verband für Literatur und Musik in Vienna, Austria. The essay was published in 1913 in Les Cahiers d’aujourd’hui in French as Ornement et Crime. Only in 1929 was the essay published in German in the Frankfurter Zeitung, as Ornament und Verbrechen. The essay is a component of all scriptures in: Adolf Loos: Sämtliche Schriften in zwei Bänden, 1. Band (Volume 1), Franz Glück (ed.), Wien, München: 1962, pp. 276–288, German version.