Nature Applied

By Jamie Waugh / Published by Dwell
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As lighting designer Gwen Carlton puts it on her website, her aesthetic is Grimm's Fairy Tales set in 1930s Paris–though nothing about her is grim. She creates lighting with her own two hands in a studio in the Catskills, and far and beyond the world is paying attention.

She is represented at the Los Angeles design mecca Emmerson Troop. Her clients include the Saudi royal family and Sofia Coppola. And her rare and rarified wallcoverings are soon to be unveiled to the public and sold at West & Green, the East River-hugging design shop opening in October in Greenpoint.

Her lighting sometimes takes its cue from shells, and when it does, some thousands of translucent round shells transmit light with subtle splendor. Otherwise it's tree branches that are the muse. And to hint about the upcoming wallcoverings, the hand-printed pieces invoke fauna that inhabit the branches. The effect is one of elegant minimalism, as she's recognized the poetic lines of shell, songbird, and branch in her designs.


Jamie Waugh


After starting in design journalism at House & Garden and CNN, Jamie runs the International Design Awards festival, which rewards visionary international design. One University of Southern California MFA later, she maintains a steady fiction and dramatic writing habit.

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