tiles have been in existence since the time of the earliest civilizations – there are surviving examples dating back to 4000 BC. tile serves to protect structures from both heat, cold and water, they delineate entrances and openings, and they can cover walls, floors and roofs. tiles are decorative, protective and extremely sanitary as well. we like to think of tile as decorative armor – it can evoke feelings and tell stories for thousands of years.
ornament in the 21st century
in the early 20th century, the fathers of modernism declared that ornament had no place in the world of the future; that it was profane and degraded any structure beneath it. we know that they were deeply wrong, and that ornament connects us to history, time and place. ornament is used to express personality, family, affiliation – it’s a visual language that is available to us all, widely understood and powerful. the question is – how do we bridge between contemporary design and the great tradition of ornament? we are hoping that ceramic tile will be the bridge.