Friday, January 21, 2011


Designers are inspired by the work of others.  

We're not talking plagiarism here, but that "Ahh! Cool - sorta like that!" moment when you get a clue of what direction to start your own traveling...  A Go-By example gets adapted to different needs and warped by different circumstances; the final design will resemble the original inspiration in some ways, differ in others.  Design is an adaptive art.  

Inspiration discussed a few days ago with a colleague?  Piranesi.  Famous for beautiful etchings of Roman ruins and of imaginary prisons...

I suspect Piranesi's visions influence many designers of "dark" material like Sweeney Todd or locations like the Phantom's lair - possibly Tim Burton's Batman? certainly my own Man of La Mancha's prison:

photo by Mark Oristano, courtesy of WaterTower Theatre

There was a show of his work at SMU's Meadows Museum a year or two ago, the etchings themselves  both amazingly detailed  and obscure, murky, almost black in their deep, shadowy, frightening, endless...

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