Spring time in Los Angeles is gala time for the art institutions that inhabit it. From MOCA to LAMAG to SMMoMA, we are in the thick of benefit season to support Los Angeles art. Wilshire’s Architecture + Design Museum always has an excellent and innovative showing in this space, where they tap local (and beyond) architects and designers to participate in making one-of-a-kind objects. Last year, the creatives were tasked with runway ready objects. This year? They’ve tapped their talents to get in touch with what makes a great artistic journey by having them create travel satchels and related items for their 2013 Celebrate: The Journey gala on May 11.
We recently heard from the institution who passed along some sketches and renderings of a few of the exciting projects that you’ll be able to see at the event. They range from picnic boxes for your back to suits that fold into backpacks, all things that will help you on any journey you plan on taking. Let’s peruse these works and get excited for the most cutting edge gala of all the Los Angeles institutions.
Karim Rashid‘s Piknik
The green item at top and the sketch above are both for Rashid’s prototype picnic item. “Piknik is a one-off prototype that was designed to hold all the necessary items for a picnic,” he explains. “I was inspired to create it because the world around us seems to be getting perpetually softer, more amorphous and blobular. Our objects are softer, our cars are rounder, our high-tech objects are rounder, and even our bodies are fatter. This casualization of shape, form, material and behavior is now a movement. This world is data-driven fluidity.” We could definitely see folks strapping these to their backs and hiking up Ferndell to picnic looking over the city!
Steven Ehrlich‘s Bag-ette
Look at the image above: what does it look like? A big loaf of bread on your back? Ding ding ding: you’re right! “What better way to celebrate life’s journey than with a picnic?” Ehrlich explains for his food inspired item. “Be a moveable feast with this leather messenger-style pouch with shoulder strap. The Bag-ette enhances your culinary adventures-on-the-go, with zippered compartments separately accommodating your favorite delicacies. You can even pack a baguette in the Bag-ette.” We love how playful and fun this bag is. We’d certainly get it simply to tote around baguettes in.
Gwen Samuels‘ Wingin it
Take a good look at the image above: what do you see? It almost keeps shifting for us. At first we thought it was a pencil sketch and then we thought it was a painting but, surprise, it is actually a photo of Samuel’s piece: a pair of very embellished shoes, one of which you can see above. “The piece Wingin it is inspired by my interest in Fashion and the theme, The Journey,” she says. “I tried to imagine a “Fashionable Fantastical” way to travel incorporating my images in a sculptural way.” Well, mission accomplished: Wingin it is totally all of that–and then some!
Hodgetts + Fung‘s N0CASE
Not a fan of cases? This isn’t one! Culver City based architecture firm Hodgetts + Fung have made a DIY design kit which they describe through it’s materials: “vinyl welding safety screen, DayGlo fluorescent shoelaces, and a playful sensibility.” It definitely is a neat little travel item!
Cristobal Valecillos‘ Untitled
Multimedia artist Cristobal Valecillos appears to be making something suitable for The Rocketeer. But is it really? “A suitcase in case you need to take off,” he explains. “A self-propelled device that takes you and all you need to wherever you desire at the touch of a button. No expensive tickets, flight cancelations, bad food and lost luggage. This is my way of celebrating the journey. The journey that takes us places, the journey we escape from, the journey we run in to, the journey that shapes us, the journey that has no end. A recycling inspired approach to constant movement. Make a list, pack what you need, think of a place and get there on your own.” So, yes, it is for the little Rocketeer inside of you. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could fly away from the gala on a jetpack?
Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design‘s Traveler’s Cocoon
Take a good look at these little, pink pods above: what do you see? You may not be able to figure it out (We couldn’t!) but Yazdani Studio has gotten into something natural and totally otherworldly for their creation. “We were inspired by the seductive forms of nature. Specifically, we were intrigued by larval shells or cocoons as the basis for our design,” they explain. “Through exploration of the composition of larval structures, we set out to create a piece of luggage that would explore the variable relationship between traveler and travel length. A single case will possess the flexibility to resize depending on the purpose and duration of travel–paralleling building envelope systems which adapt to different program and environmental conditions.” Imagine having one of these expandable, home-away-from-home cocoons as you wait in an airport terminal: the wait would be a million times better.
Erica Islas of EMI Interior Design‘s Clearly My Carry-On
Islas has a great idea that will help you literally see what is yours at the airport: she’s made a little lucite/acrylic suitcase with leather handles. “Lucite is a hot trend! It’s also very timeless; one could even say it could be vintage and futuristic at the same time. So, I thought it would be fun to have a clear carry-on! I plan to turn it in filled in with some essentials (3oz. bottles of toiletries, nighty, etc.) to show how fun a clear Lucite carry-on could be. Why not just make it easier for TSA & the X-ray machine at the airport? Not to mention, it would be very had to mistake your carry-on from anyone else’s, hence the name Clearly My Carry-On.” Not to pick favorites but, out of all the concepts here, Islas is on to something that could totally be marketed and become a “thing.” She should really make these and sell these! I mean, clearly. (Oh! You can see more photos of the piece here and here and even a process sketch here, too.)
David Hertz‘s Suit=case
LA architect David Hertz took a very collaborative approach to making his bag by teaming up with a surprising creative mind: his teenage son! “In fitting with the A&D theme of an idealized carry on bag, architect David Hertz F.A.I.A in collaboration with his 16 year old son, Max Hertz A.K.I.D., have envisioned a simple, economical and resource efficient solution to the problem of having both a suit, jacket, and a carry on. Using strategic positioning of additional buttons a typical suit jacket can be simply folded into a ‘suitcase’ that can be used on the shoulder, back, or waist. Several derivations are proposed by appropriating old suits that will be repurposed and custom executed by associate, Carson Leh for the museum.” What a genius idea! It would kind of look like you were carrying around a squashed man but, then again, that’s kind of the fun of it.
A+D’s Celebrate The Journey gala will be taking place on May 11 and you’ll be able to see all these projects brought to life then. You can get more information–and tickets to the event–here.
All images courtesy of the artists.