Live Brighter

Ideas and Inspiration

Mar 12, 2013

Lighting Tips

Meet Our Artisans: Ken Nicholas

Ken Nicholas of The Kichler Design Team


In today’s design community, the lost tools of pen and paper are often hard to find. But not at Ken Nicholas’ drafting table, where they’re staples that help him define and shape his art.

As a designer for Kichler Lighting, Ken believes in staying true to pure simplicity – brought to life through attention to detail and care in execution. It’s this philosophy that helps inspire his work and give each piece he creates a unique touch. Ken’s spent much of his career traveling the globe, not only to study design, but to also get hands-on experience in the factories and foundries where his products are born: from glass blowing studios in Milan to crystal factories in Austria to blacksmithing shops in Barcelona. Even domestic glass artisans have given him insight into the care and craftsmanship that bring his ideas to life. In fact, Ken sees the people he meets as inspiring as the places he visits. As he puts it, these are the heroes whose hands and hearts make beautiful design possible. There’s no monotony in living life, and Ken enjoys working and living alongside the entire process – from idea to execution.

Ken began his career as not only a designer, but also an engineer, and he marries his love of creativity with a deep appreciation for the science behind it. He starts each design at the “socket” – the heart of any lighting fixture. Designing around it – and with it – he assures the fixture is stunning in form while it also delivers the correct lighting for the situation.

Kichler’s Lacey Collection is a perfect example of this pen-to-paper approach in action. His freehand style allowed him to give each piece a flowing feel; his engineering thought process assured the soft textures could also be executed. It’s dimensional, stunning and perfectly functional all in one – the hallmarks of Ken’s designs.

The Lacey CollectionThe Tournai CollectionThe Freeport Collection