Sunday, October 14, 2007


I was asked by my alma mater to come and talk to the interior design students about my inspirations and design work. While reliving my senior design projects of 17 years ago, I found my old design inspirations: John Cage and the I Ching. John Cage was a contemporary composer who died in 1992 and the I Ching is a 3000 year old Chinese book of fortune telling.

During a workshop at Mountain Lake, John Cage applied the same principles of the I Ching that he applied to his music to watercoloring.

He is seen here during the process of painting.

The watercolors are created by using the principles of the I Ching. He numbered his rock selections, his brushes and feathers, his paint colors. He rolled dice to determine the selection of item as well as the its placement on the paper. These chance selections turn into beautiful works of art. Calm, flowing and simple it is hard to believe that they are calculatingly planned.

I was so inspired by this theory that I used the I Ching in my own design work and artwork. I am glad to be revisiting this concept. I hope you agree this is inspirational.


Things That Inspire said...

Wow - I love the design process behind his painting compositions...rolling a dice! I have never heard of anything like this. His paintings are really beautiful.

Susan said...

I did a whole design project with this theory. It was interesting to see a design process start in chaos and end with a clear concept. Thanks for the interest.