Bright LightsAuthor:Lindsey Shook
A few years ago, Austin Daikon of DAIKON, never dreamed he’d be creating high-end lighting and selling it through the showroom of one of the West Coast’s most celebrated interior designers. The Philadelphia native was in a seemingly unrelated field—custom motorcycle construction. How did he get here? It’s a tale of passion, discovery and design. “I became interested in making the headlights of the motorcycles,” explained Daikon at an event at Jay Jeffers – THE STORE, where his goods are carried. “From there, it was a short jump to making light fixtures.”
He was making the lights and selling them on Etsy, when designers at Jeffers‘ office reached out to him about a commission. Shortly after, he was contacted by Michael Purdy, Director of Brand Development at Jay Jeffers – THE STORE, about carrying his work. In the design world, this is a big break.
“It was amazing,” says Daikon. “Michael has helped me so much, he’s guided me on developing my work and my line.” Make no mistake, the lights don’t look like motorcycles (at least not at first glance). Daikon says that he’s more influenced by architecture. “There are many great old buildings in Philadelphia with Art Deco influences,” he says. “I’m very inspired by those buildings, and you can see it in my lights.”
Looking at his line, you can see the geometric lines that are the hallmark of Art Deco design, but here they have a modern twist. The works are made up of square metal tubes that are inset with lights, and they are used to form items like the Stilk chandelier (where the tubes spread out like branches), the Chevron sconce (where the lights within the tubes from an angular pattern) and the Dulce pendant (where a cluster of tubes makes a shape not unlike the crest of a Deco high-rise).
But, on closer examination, Daikon says you might be able to spot some resemblance between the high-end lighting and the luxury motorcycles he used to create. “The metals are similar, and there’s definitely an industrial look,” says Daikon. Another similarity is the price point. “To be honest, the bikes and the lights cost about the same,” Daikon says, smiling.
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