Many Architects shun the notion of decoration—less is more and all that. But there are times when less is just less and the form clearly requires a dash of well-placed ornament to humanize it or improve its function. The designers of the projects that follow are all masters at transforming problematic interior spaces into wonderful places using material flourish, color, and humor. Here they demonstrate their skills with thoughtful solutions for a range of clients and locations that include a subterranean metro station in Naples, Italy (pictured above), a vast central market in Moscow, a department store in Seoul, and a small, lackluster office in San Francisco—all universal challenges that speak to design teams everywhere.
In An Effort to update its metro system, the city of Naples, Italy, has created a dozen art stations over the last decade, guided by Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva. The stations are filled with a range of contemporary works by local artists and international icons like Joseph Kosuth and Sol LeWitt. In 2004, they invited New York City–based artist and industrial designer Karim Rashid to bring his psychedelic sensibility to the University of Naples stop.