LIANE HANSEN, Host:
Do high energy home decorating TV shows, glossy design magazines and slick how-to books leave you feeling frustrated, disorganized and tempted you to fling everything across the room? Go right ahead, says designer Josh Amatore Hughes. Throw stuff. Break stuff. See what happens.
P: Welcome to the program.
JOSH AMATORE HUGHES: Thanks. Thanks, I'm glad to be here.
HANSEN: Punk shui is obviously a play on feng shui. Feng shui, it's used to eliminate clutter, to improve the energy of the living space, or so the advocates of feng shui contend. What are the guiding principles of punk shui?
AMATORE HUGHES: With punk shui, I think the guiding principles, the bottom-line, is impracticality and nonsense. There's a lot of different ways you could actually term punk shui, but I think non-traditional design kind of sums it up, because it's really about getting away from consumer-based design.
HANSEN: But first of all, the subtitle of your book seems to contradict itself. Home Design for Anarchists?
AMATORE HUGHES: Yes.
HANSEN: I mean, wouldn't an anarchist reject home design?
AMATORE HUGHES: Yes, yes. Well, I have to say, contradiction is also one of the mainline philosophies of punk shui. I think every day we need to contradict ourselves and question ourselves, and punk shui as a philosophy definitely has many, many contradictions. And I don't stand by any of it, so...
HANSEN: Do people come in to you, I mean, you know, you run a firm, Punk Shui Design.
AMATORE HUGHES: Yeah. Yeah.
HANSEN: Do people come in and say, Okay, how do I get disorganized?
AMATORE HUGHES: Another way to do is not to do it by any order at all, and just, you know, have fun in your space and maybe try to build a little sculpture out of your chachkis on the shelf.
HANSEN: Does it produce, as the advocates of feng shui contend, does it produce a certain kind of energy level?
AMATORE HUGHES: It definitely does. That's one of the main goals of punk shui, I think, is to create a space that makes you more creative. I think if you really mix up your environment and you make it something that even you aren't used to, then you yourself are going to become more creative.
HANSEN: So you really can convince people to hang broken chairs on a wall?
AMATORE HUGHES: Definitely. Definitely. And you can enjoy broken chairs on the wall, as well.
HANSEN: Josh, thanks a lot.
AMATORE HUGHES: Well, thank you very much.
HANSEN: You can check out examples of punk shui at our website, npr.org.
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