A blend of Arts & Crafts and Asian design influences.
by Ken Burton
My design sense and influences are pretty eclectic. I draw on a wide variety of sources and enjoy mixing things up a bit. In keeping with popular culture, I think this is referred to as a “mash up.” Today’s young people are quite good at it, and sometimes like to think they invented the process. But as I think about it, people who design and make things have been doing this for years – taking details and ideas from one source and combining them with details and ideas from another.
Consider this lamp, for example. In some ways it is a fairly traditional design. It certainly recalls the Arts & Crafts style that was popular in this country about 100 years ago. In particular, I drew influence from the Greene brothers, architects who worked in and around Pasadena, Calif., designing and building some splendid examples of Arts & Crafts-style houses and furniture. But when you start looking into their training and design influences, you find that they, in turn, drew on other cultures for inspiration – notably traditional Japanese architecture. So in effect, they were “mashing up” things when they built such masterpieces as the Gamble House.
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Article: “Shoji Lamp,’ by Christopher Schwarz.
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