What is all this!? How can you craft such sensuous psychedelia? How can you cradle, credenza-like, the cerebral silhouette of the design world like this? Does playful infinitude sound to you like the groove, dude? It sure seems to in here. For amidst Louis Vuitton’s magnificent Objets Nomades—the House’s mind-expanding design initiative, founded in 2012 and on fresh display at Milk Studios for its inaugural partnership with Frieze Los Angeles, an art fair affair in its second iteration that’s got the city’s taught tummy in something of a frenzied twist—quirk and expertise overwhelm the senses, and design has never felt so animate. Fortunately for us, our senses are well-accustomed and exercised regularly, even obsessively. And even more fortunately, Andrew Kudless—Objets Nomades’ first American designer, who, like a charming dash of bitters follows heavy hitters Marcel Wanders, Tokujin Yoshioka, and Patricia Urquiola, among others—is presenting pieces (amongst tables, lamps, chairs, and other interior goodies) to a rapt and eager demo that will surely tell all its sparkly friends. Before all this, an LV spring collection by Mr. Nicolas Ghesquière: excellent. And after that, a quick bit of whimsy with Mr. Kudless, founder of the design firm Matsys, who has taught and given workshops and seminars at The California College of the Arts, Ohio State University, the Architectural Association (London), Yale University, and Rice University. Here we go!
Describe what we’d presume to be an unequivocal process of working with a House as uniquely storied and revered as Louis Vuitton?
Working with the team at Louis Vuitton has been a designer’s dream come true. Although they gave me free rein while proposing new work for the collection, they actually had a very critical eye and knew right away what worked and didn’t for the collection. This combination of being both very open to new ideas but at the same time being very grounded in their own sense of direction for the collection was a very productive and creative space for me. In addition, I knew I could always trust them with the craft of the work. I love working out the details of pieces and their craftsman and artisans were the perfect partners.
Describe a time in your life, be it personal or through artistic process, you’ve experienced a sense of rebirth?
After my first degree in architecture, I had the opportunity to live in Japan for a year. Despite a lifetime of wanting to become an architect, the five years of education had been brutal and I had begun to question if design and architecture were for me. However, living in and with the exquisitely crafted traditional and contemporary architecture and design of Japan renewed my love of the field and set me on my path focusing on the rich rela- tionship between materiality, craft, and technology.
Outside of the LA art week moment, or in an exhibitive capacity, where do you envision a particular Objets Nomades piece and what’s the context?
Beyond my own work for the collection, my favorite piece is the Serpentine Dining Table by Atelier Oï. Similar to my shelf, it captures the strength and beauty of wood and leather in perfect equilibrium. I envision the table late at night surrounded by friends in deep and playful conversation after a wonderful meal, the kids peacefully asleep.
Give us an idea of how dusk in your city makes you feel, or memories dusk might conjure? Describe how dawn in your city makes you feel, or memories dawn might conjure?
I recently moved to Houston and live in a high-rise with an amazing view of the sunset. Previously, I lived in California, but in a house with barely any view at all, so it was easy to forget to appreciate the beauty of the setting sun. Now, I love sitting with a drink watching the interaction of sun, clouds, and light at the end of each day. Time slows, and then goes very fast as the last sliver of light dips below the horizon. I feel full of opportunity at this time in my life, in a new city and with a new view.
As for dawn, I remember one time as as a teenager, l was sleeping over at a friend’s house. We were talking about sunrises and sunsets and he admitted he had never seen a sunrise before. I, unfortunately, had seen far too many as I had the habit of staying up all night reading, so I suggested we should stay up together and watch the sun come up. Such a simple thing, it happens every day, but he hadn’t experienced it before. It was a joy to share it with him sitting on the grass in suburban New Jersey.
Photographer: Mario Kroes.
Stylist: Mui-hai Chu.
Models: Alix Angjeli at Photogenics and Vanessa Ouma at Next Management.
Hair: Kelly Peach using Oribe Hair Care.
Makeup: Cedric Jolivet using MAC Cosmetics at The Wall Group.
Lighting Tech: Ram Gibson.
Assistant: Dane Christensen.
Location: Milk Studios, Los Angeles.