Motion design & production house Royale and Designer Rogerio Carvalheiro, Principal of RC Design Federation, recently joined forces to create a David Bowie-inspired multi-media installation for “Rock ‘n’ Platinum: A Designer Showcase That Interprets Music Through Design.”
The showcase was commissioned to introduce Lofts @ Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles — the latest mixed-use development by eco-real-estate developers REthink. The development and its event pay tribute to the loft’s historic namesake and grounds where countless music icons including David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, KISS, and Johnny Cash once tracked some recordings.
Tasked to create a “rock star habitat” out of the split-level “Bachelor Pad” (one of Cherokee’s 12 units), Carvalheiro’s design motif is a modern interpretation of David Bowie’s iconic self-transformations as an artist, as well as his flawless sense of rock ‘n’ elegant style. Entering the airy top level, visitors encounter Royale’s first video piece: a mesmerizing portrait of David Bowie, which slowly morphs into abstractions of his various creative personas through the years.
Carvalheiro achieved the design motif by overlaying aspects of each era David Bowie emblazoned. This included marrying classically designed furniture (old and new) and myriad accessories. Royale was tasked to create two video installations (one for each level) that would communicate with the spatial décor’s high-contrast color palette, while enhancing the experiential cohesion of the “Bowie” motif, as a whole.
Downstairs is Carvalheiro’s conjuration of an intimate “Bowie” suite. Design wise, the space features nooks adorned with glam stage memorabilia: glittery costumes, guitar amps, ceramic calaveras, fur throws, and a personal bar placed adjacent to the bed. Here, guests are immediately greeted by Royale’s second video installation. The looping four-minute montage splices motion graphics with Bowie film clips and interview footage, resounding between the sardonic industrial rock anthem “I’m Afraid of Americans” and classical music from the Hunger soundtrack, which David Bowie played cello on.
“The installation downstairs represents the more literal Bowie,” says Whitmore. “To illustrate his ‘show’ side and ‘personal’ side, we juxtaposed the fast-tempo and ambient media centered around the music. Overall, it’s intended to entertain; whereas the piece upstairs is more of a fine art experience.”