When American architect Louis Sullivan proclaimed that “form ever follows function” in 1896, he was probably not thinking about Louis Vuitton. The objects in the French luxury brand’s latest design line “Objets Nomades,” however, are heavily aware of the hierarchy of form and function: a leather attaché case by Atelier Oï unfolds, like origami, into a simple, elegant stool; Perrine Desmons’ play on the Vuitton trademark handbag padlock twists to become a portable bag hanger.
“Objets Nomades” began as a prompt to top global product designers to create goods incorporating Vuitton’s campaign of “savoir-faire” construction and adaptable goods for travel. 16 objects, created by 11 designers, will be displayed during Design Miami, part of Art Basel. The objects range from a limited-edition art piece (Fernando and Humberto Campana’s Maracatu, a portable cabinet, outfitted in a colorful array of scraps of leather from Vuitton’s French factory) to apparel (Constance Guisset’s Cape de Voyage, a wrap made of Himalayan yak’s wool) to a not-yet-available prototype. They are not superfluous or flashy, but rather understated incarnations of standard travel objects, (a folding table, a flashlight, a beach chair) crafted to the pinnacle of portable perfection. “Objet Nomades” is a project to indulge in, even if you can only dream of one day resting on a collapsible, hand-crafted French leather hammock.
The entire collection of “Objets Nomades” will receive its world premiere at the Louis Vuitton Miami Design District temporary store on December 4, 2012, and be on show during the duration of Design Miami/ from December 5-9.