I finally broke down and bought Patterns in Design Art & Architecture and it was a good decision. It's a very interesting blend of examples from the different disciplines - not much text but a big visual feast. Of course much is made of Adolf Loos' "Ornament and Crime" and the authors take time to distinguish pattern (inherent to the structure of the piece) from ornament (added on later and without utility). I still think some of the examples in the book, especially the architecture, combines the two, but I am not quibbling. It was a joy to see expected favorites like Tord Boontje as well as up-and-comers like Hanna Werning, whose posters are flying out the door still thanks to this month's Daily Candy.
We do love pattern here at Rare Device. It started easy in realism, with photography and typography, then shifted to abstracts like stripes and dots (I have a 6 foot long stripe painting by Markus Linnenbrink sitting in a crate at home, it's simply too commanding for my little Brooklyn apartment!), moved into botanical silhouettes and currently I am loving folk and outsider art, patterns that can make you dizzy.
I think everyone has their swings in taste and without sounding too much like a shopping cheerleader, I think the act of choosing something new for you or your home really does help make you feel more like "you" at that moment in time. Sometimes I want to stare at my crazy bright stripe painting and be overwhelmed. Sometimes I just want to empty the house and meditate on the beautiful glazed black bowl I bought at Greenjeans. It is a privilege to be able to choose.
Speaking of meditation and pattern and ornament, I can't wait for my box of ceramics from Andrew DeWitt to get here. I am getting functional forms in black and white with amazing, fragile organic bubbles and holes built in. Pictures soon.