David Easton and I were introduced 15 years ago. I’d been asked to make the curtains for the advertising campaign of his collection for Lee Jofa. At the time I thought his particularly zany sense of humor was at odds with his restrained talent. We had coffee in his conference room last week, and I’m here to luckily report he hasn’t changed a bit.
From the get-go, a conversation with Easton settles into a north/south rhythm of laughter and seriousness. One sentence describing a complex “pediment” is followed by a Monty Python‘esque quip. While he holds an architecture degree from Pratt, has worked for Edward Wormley of Dunbar fame, and did a stint at the venerable Parish Hadley – he accomplished all that seeing the world though a lens seemingly polished by a man with a very acute funny bone. To me, David Easton and Woody Allen seem to have been separated at birth. They’re both masters of their craft., oft-time irreverent humorists., and geniuses that refuse to take themselves too seriously.
A living space emblematic of Easton’s classically English style (photo by Durston Saylor)
On his career, Easton explained that shortly after establishing his own firm he became known for Anglophile-inspired traditional interiors. He stayed true to that style until the advances of the information age began to inform the hybrid vision he has today. “In recent years, the world has changed at an unprecedented speed. I’ve observed a shift in tastes with my clients., many wishing to simplify their homes in response to the world complicated by technological advances.” I asked him to help me to understand how those advances are shaping his morphing style. “I believe in adaptation. I also believe that science fiction (specifically literature) offers clues into the world of the future. No one could have predicted the way the iPhone has changed – in immeasurable ways – our lives in just 5 short years.” Easton even made a bold prediction. “I think it’s possible that a time will come when the space we live in will change with the passing of a thought. Spaces will adjust, rooms will modulate color and completely new furnishings will appear in keeping with our feelings, ideas and wishes.”
We talked about everything from how the world’s population explosion is impacting building resources to Charles Darwin to the Pew Institutes statistics on a nation by nation GDP. Given his intellectual bend toward understanding today’s impact on tomorrows reality, I had a question. Who would he like to collaborate with on a building/interiors project of the future? “An architect or designer who lives in a country that has an eye on the habitat of the future – someone from Ghaziabad or Mumbai… or perhaps Shanghai. I’d like to collaborate with a forward thinker with whom I can impart my historical reference – toward creating environments that speak to both the past and the future.”
David Easton thinks George Jetson will want a modern yet decidedly comfy armchair, and I think he’s right on the money.
A modern-contemporary “great room” by David Easton (photo by David Marlow)
David Easton 5 Union Square West 3rd Floor New York 10003 212-334-3820