Design connoisseurs are well familiar with Objets Nomades, the collection of limited-edition, collectible furniture and accessories from Louis Vuitton that has yielded collaborations from the likes of the Campana Brothers, Patricia Urquiola and Marcel Wanders, and which has been part of Design Miami/ since 2012.
This December, a new creative joined that cadre of illustrious collaborators. San Francisco’s Andrew Kudless, well-known in design and art circles for work that nods to architecture, design and science, is the first American to participate in the program. His contribution, the Swell Wave shelf, is, in his words, “like a rock sculpted by wind and rain over centuries.” In less poetic terms, the piece is made in smoothly polished oak, held in place by straps of Louis Vuitton leather. There are two versions: one that is suspended and requires wall attachments, making it easy to move, and a free-standing version with a metal frame covered in leather. The piece’s undulating waves are meant to symbolize the “free-spirited art of exploration and movement that lies at the heart of Louis Vuitton’s travel DNA,” a company associated with luxury luggage since its founding in 1854.
“With my [Objets Nomades contribution], I wanted to explore the concept of travel in a way that reflected my own passion for experiencing new sights, smells and tastes,” says Kudless. “I wanted the Swell Wave shelf to resonate with these forces and represent a balance between all things. The best objects are those whose geometry, performance and way of marking are strongly integrated. I move between thinking about all three of these issues throughout my design process.”