Greg Kono is a third generation Japanese Ameriacn (Sansei), who grew up on a farm in Sacramento, California. He made his first kites from greenhouse plastic, bamboo or wood dowels, and newspaper; at times he would invest a dollar for a commercial delta kite to fly over the family’s twenty-five acres of farmland.
In 1986 he graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design. After graduation he designed museum exhibits for Herb Rosenthal and Associates in Los Angeles and West Office Design Associates in San Francisco.
In 1990 he relocated to Seattle, where he attended the University of Washington and Pratt Fine Arts Center to study sculpture and metal design. He fabricated and maintained exhibits for The Children’s Museum, Seattle until he formed his own design studio, Kono Design, in 1991. He then collaborated with Annex Design on several youth museum exhibits before joining the company in 1997. He stayed with Annex Design as a Senior Associate until the end of 2001.
In 2001 Greg rediscovered his love of kite making. The Kono clan held a family reunion in San Francisco, for which he created a commemorative poster and several kites from the poster design. As he began to experiment with kites of paper and bamboo, he was fortunate to come across a Japanese kite building workshop in 2002, taught by master kite builders, Nobuhiko Yoshizumi and Scott Skinner, at the Drachen Foundation in Seattle. Six month later he began working with the foundation, where he develops traveling exhibits, updates the website, and teaches kite building workshops, while continuing to develop his own kites and artwork.
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