Yeah, I agree with pretty much all that has been said. A large majority of people have a necessity to customize things, in order to "own them". Not just the computer's ram, but it's appearance too. You cannot deny that computers have an appearance. And some people are just not satisfied with it. That's a very personal thing.... More externally, they mostly do it for the symbolism, expressing themselves to others. Symbols are intrinsic to human society.
Though I have pondered the very core of why some people just need to fill every single blank space with decor. My best response is Horror Vacui.
Originally Posted by Eric
However, the idea of decoration has been annoying me for years. I mean any sort of decoration: jewelry, colorful clothing,
Colorful clothing... What is it with most Ts and a dislike of color? I see it being brought up quite constantly. And its funny considering that a lot of NTs have strong artistic leanings. ...
What's so wrong with color? I just cannot get it. Color is functional. Color can be used rationally. It is a fact that specific colors produce specific moods in people. Color has symbolic potential; color brings back associations rather common to all humans, and is a language that can be used to communicate ideas, or to manipulate if one so desires. Color is a fact of everyday life, and rationals should accept it and understand it and learn to use it to their advantage, instead of pretending like its useless and it doesn't matter at all. Stop being in denial!
decals, tattoos, pictures, wallpaper or painting. Painting over brick, concrete, or stone really annoys me, since stone doesn't rot and doesn't need paint.
You need to read up on 19th and early 20th century architectural theory.
Several decades of debate over decoration vs strict functionality, both in buildings and everyday use industrial objects (People don't get as much art history as they should. There's a lot of bullshit thrown around as theory, but there's also sensible, legitimate stuff. If you really, really want to read up on this, I can recommend some bibliography.) (Is obsessed with architectural theory).
Basically, one of modern architecture's tenets is "truth to materials". Both in their appearance, and in their structural characteristics. Personally I agree with this, and I truly despise when brick, concrete, or stone is painted over, or when concrete or steel structures are covered up with stones, when the stones are not really carrying any load. And I generally despise wallpaper and painting over plaster walls.
But other materials need protective coatings (steel) or gain very expressive colors on the process of their manufacturing (plastics) and in this sense, the "honest" use of these materials is to take their color potential to the maximum.
I can almost forgive pillars that don't actually support the building for banks or government buildings, since they have a kind of propaganda purpose.
With that same rationale, you could argue positively for pretty much everything else you have dismissed. (Which is precisely what postmodern architecture attempted: reconsider the importance of decoration as symbols essential to human societies)
They all can and usually have propaganda (symbolic) functions:
the use of colors (brand or national identity, color coding like traffic lights, or taxis...), tatoos (group belonging), jewelry ( = power, money)....
In my apartment, my walls look like walls, and putting a picture of flowers on them is not likely to improve my quality of life any more than putting picture of flames on the side of my car will make it run faster. I cannot understand why people like to make things look like things they are not.
I agree on the car stuff, but buildings are on a completely different category than cars. You spend perhaps 90% of your life inside buildings, not looking at cars. So I entirely disagree on that. Refer back to color. If done correctly, putting a picture, or a color on a wall, or changing the lighting, or playing music can measurably and reliably alter your perception of space/ambience and your moods == your quality of life. For better OR worse.
In fact, changing the color of a wall also alters its light reflectance, or thermal absorption, and thus also affects the light balance and your thermal comfort.
(Would you consider "music" to be decoration? Is it not an attempt to hide the "real music" of a place, it's natural soundscape, or lack thereof, with something "false"? Do you think this is acceptable, or repulsive?)
(And what say you about installations. Electrical wiring, plumbing, A/C ducts. They are essential to the use of contemporary buildings and yet they are usually hidden. Is this not denying the actual functioning of the building, similar to hiding the structure? Should these installations be left apparent?)
IMO people need to be better educated on the history of design, both industrial and architectural, or they will never be capable of effectively understanding and criticizing their own present, and where they should head in the future. Of course, we live in an age of much confusion and uncertainty, and sadly, for the last 20 years the vast majority of the work done in architecture and industrial design is utter shit... a big part due to rampant consumerism, but also allowed and made possible by the bad education and lack of responsibility in the designers themselves... darned age of mediocrity!
I'd keep on ranting but it's 3.30 am and I need to wake up at 6.... :(