Two experiences in the past month have me yearning for a return to the union of beauty & functionality. First, my boyfriend & I toured Grey Towers, the mansion belonging to the Pinchott family in Milford PA. It’s French-inspired design & rooms full of hand-carved woodwork & ornate furnishings demonstrate a quality of workmanship & appreciation for beauty rarely seen any more. Second, we spent an afternoon at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen show in Lancaster Pennsylvania, where artisans & crafts people displayed their handmade creations, including pottery, jewelry, & clothing. Such attention to detail. Such quality.
I want a Renaissance of Creativity!
Something happened around the 1930s where practicality & beauty diverged. Things became streamlined, sleek,… sterile & uninspiring. Everything from fashion to automobile design to architecture has slipped into the realm of function without imagination. Notice all the beige, black, & gray clothing, cars, & home decor items to see what I mean.
Let’s seek inspiration in nature– Her colors, textures, patterns, & shapes. There is so much beauty to appreciate. Can it find it’s way into design, art, & architecture? Imagine a shift in the culture where clothing is made of high-quality material & workmanship, where public buildings are designed in such a way as to inspire & stimulate, where food looks good & tastes better, where furniture & appliances are built to last while being pleasing to the eye, where gardens are full of plants that look beautiful & nourish life at the same time.
I’m not advocating a return to the past. I’m challenging all of us to take pride in what we do & make. Let’s get creative, marrying beauty & functionality in a whole new way, sparking a Renaissance of Creativity.