Adolf Loos was an Austrian and Czechoslovak architect and influential European theorist of Modern architecture. Loos became a pioneer of modern architecture and contributed a body of theory and criticism of Modernism in architecture and design in addition he became more famous with his ideas and writings than with his buildings. He believed that reason should determine the way we build, and he opposed the decorative Art Nouveau movement.
Ornament and Crime was a lecture attacking ornament in art by the influential and self-consciously The essay was written when Art Nouveau, which Loos had criticized hardly even at its height in 1900, was about to show a new way of modern art. The essay is important explaining clearly some moralizing views, inherited from the Arts and Crafts movement, which would be fundamental to the Bauhaus design studio and would help define the ideology of Modernism in architecture.
In the essay he claims that every age has his own style and in our age we don’t have a style moreover is ornament a style? We have to fight against to the ornament.
He claims while producing something like cigarette case , American workers are working 2 more hours than Chinese because of the ornaments of cigarette case in addition if they don’t use ornaments in this product they won’t waste more material these things so he says ornament is wasting labour, materials and power and workers health. If the objects are completely smooth, it’s easy for everybody. In this way he shows the criminal face of the ornaments.
In one part of the text he answered “ but if the ornament is beautiful? “ idea with giving an interesting example “ if I eat a gingerbread cookie I will choose one that is quite smooth an presenting any figurative object like baby ,hearth etc. he don’t like figurative ones because they have same taste and with the ornament. In this simple way we can understand the idea of consuming more energy for making ormanet.