Off the Grid Exhibition by François Chambard & Frederick McSwain
by Ted Savage / May 27, 2013
An eclectic collection of objects inspired by the great outdoors, Off the Grid Exhibition by François Chambard & Frederick McSwain features a tent that doubles as lighting, travel trunks in anodized aluminum and maple wood, a Maglite lighting installation, chairs, stools and storage assembled from stylized aluminum milk crates, and more, against an "Urban Camouflage" backdrop of hand-knotted fire-retardant fabric by textile artist Elodie Blanchard.

(Click the images below for full sized images)


At New York's Gallery R'Pure.


6BCA tent by François Chambard

"The classic A-frame tent is reminiscent of old-style tents and the archetypal idea of camping. It is outfitted with a concealed LED strip that makes it work like a giant light fixture, blurring the line between nomadic archetypes and more stationary and decorative prooducts."




Cumulus tables by Frederick McSwain

"From the advent of primitive tools to the dawn of the supercomputer, humans have always found inspiration in nature. Continuing this tradition, Cumulus attempts to impose organic characteristics on an otherwise cold and rigid industrial form."


"Utilizing a diamond-scribed geometry (composed solely of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines), the anodized aluminum table boasts a surface quality that dances and shimmers, changing like the weather."


Quest for Fire drums by François Chambard

"The pieces are a remote reference to the classic book by J. H. Rosny and its adaption in the cult movie by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The story takes place in prehistoric times, when cavemen lived Off the Grid long before the concept was conceivable. Fire was the original grid, the element that kept us alive and connected."


"Today while we depend on other grids - electrical, wireless - those connections seem as critical and primal as fire was in ancient times. The pits are made of chrome-plated oil drums that are red-lacquered inside and contain a graphic array of Maglite flashlights, very much like mechanical flames or some kind of electric bouquets."


DLX Trunks and Racks by François Chambard

"The trunks are a crossover between the classic travel case and the rugged military trunk. They are made of maple wood and hardwood, anodized aluminum and nylon webbing. They rest on some kind of traditional hotel luggage racks, revisited. The set evokes a romantic idea of travel and urban camping."



Craft System lamps (N˚16 to N˚ 21) by François Chambard

"The lamps are a continuation of the initial collection of Craft System lamps introduced last year at Wanted Design. The lamps consist of the multiple variations of a simple shape, showcasing work that transcends the quality of the mass-produced and the quality of the handmade. The basic and repetitive tapered Corian shape can take multiple configurations by being combined with different bottom and top handmade attachments. This year's series is a literal interpretation of the Off the Grid idea through lamps that work without being plugged in: battery-powered LEDs, hurricane candle light, kerosene lights, lanterns."




Backdrop, Urban Camouflage by Elodie Blanchard


Also from Off the Grid, Props Chair and Crate by Frederick McSwain. Photos: Francis Dzikowski/ Esto.

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