NYC designers Frederick McSwain and François Chambard (of UM Project) created an outdoors-inspired exhibition at Gallery R’Pure for New York Design Week called Off The Grid.

Inspired by camping, flashlights, lanterns, and easy outdoor furniture solutions like using crates as chairs, the designers created what look to be more luxurious and creative alternatives to the traditional camping gear. Perhaps this is gear we might use when camping on a rooftop in NYC or as our only furniture in an effort to try and escape the real world?


Descriptions below are from the designers.


Maglite Story (on the wall)
An organized grouping of upturned flashlights reminiscent of the cultural phenomenon commonly seen around campfires.



The installation includes Elodie Blanchard “Urban Camouflage”, a hand-knotted textile wall made of hand-knotted HDPE fabric.



Props is a nod to urban culture’s re-appropriation of the milk crate, a ubiquitous and graphic form, commonly used for a variety of unexpected tasks. From disc jockeys and bicycle messengers to street vendors and flower merchants, the gridded plastic containers are as synonymous with American cities as the buildings, people, and streets that populate them. Machined from solid aluminum then anodized in a mismatch of colors, these compact volumes are jewel-like in precision, able to stand-alone or integrate into endless topographical compositions.



Craft System Lamps (N˚16 to N˚ 21)
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, lantern.




Cumulus, Table
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.




DLX Trunks and Racks
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 and simplified. The sets evoke a romantic idea of travel and urban camping.



Quest for Fire
The set of three drums is a playful and indirect 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, social – 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.



6BCA Tent
The classic A-frame tent is reminiscent of old-style tents and the ideal of camping. It is outfitted with a concealed LED strip in the top crossbar that makes it work like a giant light fixture, blurring the line between nomadic archetypes and more stationary and decorative products. The tent is made of aluminum (anodized or powder-coated), maple hardwood, parachute fabric and custom-made moving blankets.




The exhibition will be on display through June 6, 2013.

Photos by Francis Dzikowski Esto.