It is always interesting to observe the need humans have for decoration in all its aspects, covering a whole plethora of our daily lives, from the deliberate through to the accidental. When you actually stop and take notice, you realize that decoration, despite the rigors of Modernism and its official frowning upon secondary decoration in all its forms, is everywhere.
Although advertising, fashion and marketing can often influence the buying public to a certain extent, the human penchant for various long-term factors is often seen as stubbornly active, even reactionary. The human need for decoration is one of the oldest, and whether subtle or bright, small or large-scale, domestic or public, it seems always to be with us.
It is hard to know when decoration first intrigued humans, probably as far back as we would like to imagine, if not further. We could suppose that early humans might well have seen color and line in the natural landscape that surrounded their everyday lives. They may well have also seen pattern and connection in the way that they and other species interacted within the living world. To understand and observe color, line, interconnection, and pattern, and then transpose those disparate elements into human decoration, is the moment when human artistic creativity begins.
Much of human decoration has to do with personal taste and choice. One individual chooses a cup with bright yellow flowers; another chooses flowers that are pink or purple. No two humans really see the same pattern; there are so many elements to personal taste. These can entail such diverse aspects as personal memory, structure of the optic nerve, cultural traditions and many more. The point being that decoration allows individuals to be individuals. The more decorative choice, the more individuality is expressed. If we are only allowed to purchase items in black, grey or white, then we have difficulty in outwardly expressing our individuality, our personality of tastes, we are denied an important aspect of who we are. Of course, there are elements within the design world, its designers, and influencers that would be more than happy for us to all use one form of phone in one color for example. There are ideological reasons for uniformity, but it is an ideology that has more troublesome aspects that bleed into forms of totalitarianism, and denial of expression.
As long as we continue to energize our lives with outward expressions of individuality through the manipulation and personal customization of Modernist single-color mass production, then we stay connected, however tenuously, with one of the major themes of human life and culture, the outward expression of the colorful, vibrant world in which we live, through the endless creative variety of our own human decorative pattern work.