Adolf Loos (1870- 1933) was an Austrian architect, designer, and critic whose intellectual contribution has been crucial to the advent of the Modern Movement. He was born in Brno, Austria-Hungary (today Czech Republic). He was and remains one of the most important promoters of rationality in architecture and can be considered in all respects the forefather of modern architecture and design.
Since 1900 he strongly opposed the Secession, the Viennese branch of Art Nouveau, after embracing its assumptions for a short time. He was particularly hostile to the ornament, so heavily promoted by the Secessionists, and the title of his lecture-essay “Ornament and Crime” (1910) became one of the most famous dictums in the world of architecture.
His repulsion to the ornament wasn’t aesthetic but cultural, representing his opposition towards waste, the ephemeral, and the frivolous. He didn’t want to propose a style to follow, so to unadorned façades he opposed opulent interiors. Contrary to contemporary starchitects, Loos never favoured the individual ego to the good of the community, and always tried to promote architecture as a cultural expression of civilization.