Sunday, October 5, 2008

Drainpipe, Brussels

Walking down the street with me, in a neighborhood built around 1900, can be as slow as a walk with an easily-distracted toddler. There's a whole wonderful world to discover and scrutinize. In Brussels, interlacing lines carved on a wall fan out just above the sidewalk to announce the existence of a drainpipe. A plain, metal pipe jutting out of the wall would not do. This was an age when designers felt that it was their duty to imbue useful objects with beauty and possibly even nobility. I hope that the craftsperson who made this was pleased with having transformed something mundane into an elegant ornament.