ornament: originated from the Greek kosmos,meaning universe.
the concept term kosmos is related to order, ornament and universe.
I have found an amazing book on ornament, written by Kent Bloomer, The Ornament.
the passage quoted below is from the book mentioned.
"for the ancient Greeks, the words Kosmos was set in contrast to the word Chaos. Chaos preceded the emergence of the world as we know it, but was succeeded by Cosmos, which manifested the profound order of the world and the totality of its natural phenomena. In that respect, Cosmos made possible the knowable and thus the visible structure of the universe as the latter established the relations between its elements and its inhabitants. We might say that Cosmos could be represented as a consensus, a magnificient diagram, a universal, a universal tapestry, a comphrehensive text, or, in the light of architecture, a supreme temple. Cosmic articles expelled chaos and revealed order.
In pre-Socratic culture, the totality of the universe was generally thought to be constituted by the Earth, the Heavens, and Eros. Eros is the god of love, and in antiquity the origin of the world was expressed in an act of procreation. Love was a uniting power that, treated either as a divinity or an idea, was responsible for the organization of the whole Cosmos and the achievement of union out of Chaos. In the beginning, Eros appeared and transformed the decomposed, dark, and stormy chasm of Chaos into the creation of the world. Elements formerly scattered were united into a productive embrace, and thus the earth and skies, the wet and the dry, the hot and the cold were nurtured into specific locations, ranks, and degrees of animation. Eros was also described as intransigent, unconquerable, wandering and among the dwellers of the wilderness capable of inciting madness and convertingjustice to evil. But those attributes did not prevent Eros from performing as an organizing force capable of controlling strife and conflict. Thus the forces of love and strife came to be understood as everlasting cycles that, like life, death, and the seasons, were to be manifested by visual figures that evoked rhythm and temporality. This vibrant world picture of order gained from desire, union, and rhythm was implicated with the earliest concepts of ornament, just as today rhythm is still poetically associated with feelings of unity.
In the ancient sense, Eros was an external agent, someone or something that could intervene to control the potentially chaotic entities of earth and sky.
Ornament...like a force that unites and transforms conflicting worldly elements."
for my recent project I am working on, I was looking for the origin of floral design. why there appeared the tendency to depict nature? It is a rather wide question, I know. Anyway, the things I have found are more interesting than the question. I have read through a couple of books on the origin of gardens, like Quest for Paradise and The Garden of Eden. As their title suggest, the building of gardens is strongly associated with the recreating the Garden of Eden,the moment before Adam and Eve fell into the world, before the world was scattered, before we lost the innocence. Garden of Eden is conceived as a place where all nature served Adam. With the first sin, with the first knowledge man was expelled from that heavenly life.
all the idea behind the botanical garden was, for most, the recreate that heavenly garden, that's why they began to collect different kinds of plants from all over the world, to establish the unity of the scattered world. this is also the idea behind the zoo, animals used to serve Adam in the garden of Eden before the Fall. And now in the zoo they are reenacting their role in the Eden, to be under the rule of man.That is what John Prest says in his book The Garden of Eden: The Botanic Garden and the Re-creation of eden.
the botanical garden has also been the origin of science. In a rather odd way, the story of the Fall repeats itself in a reverse fashion. Once expelled from the Eden for his desire for knowledge, now he returns to it through the knowledge.
The Islamic gardens also have a similar motive in creating gardens. they are creating the paradise that is promised for professed Muslim. but they are not recreating the garden of eden. (I am a little confused about the "eden" and "paradise" to be honest. Türkçede bir tane cennet var. ve de islamda ilk günah olmadığından olsa gerek, cennet bahçesini yeniden yaratmak değil, vaad edilen cenneti yaratmak söz konusu. tabi yaratmak tam da karşılamıyor bu eylemi. zira şirk koşmak demek yaratmak. ne peki bu fiil?)
and the rugs, carpets, and prayer rugs in Islamic countries do most of the time represents the paradise. an idealized piece of land, a promised land, a place that is not here, a point of hope, escape if you like.