Role: Designer, Muralist, Art Director Company: Evy of California
Supercharged was a pop up kid's apparel store, built over a four month period. An open space in the front of our DTLA Design Labs building, with strategic access to the outside foot traffic, was calling for a purpose. While also working full time as a Senior Graphic Artist, I was asked to brainstorm ideas for the space and its new identity. The journey began around the idea of a floor-to-ceiling mural and quickly spilled into the arena of functional sculpture, custom furniture, and the juxtaposition between resilient, industrial materials, and childhood magic. Due to my engaged enthusiasm, design background, and penchant for playing with raw materials, I quickly became point person and designer for the space. The rest is history.
I also published a book about Supercharged.
It started with a mural…
R&D played a huge role in gathering inspiration for all aspects of the space. The key inspiration for the mural AND space was a creative and non-fussy execution. And color; lots of it.
Mural Renderings and Execution
I chose an abstract depiction of DTLA, complete with Disney Concert Hall, famous landmarks, and pieces of Los Angeles' most historic and beloved fixtures. To begin, I drew up a quick sketch for my supervisors, gave the mural digital context, and gridded it for approximation when painting. Although the process was relatively organic, it still had to translate in an objective space. Paint. Scaffold. Go!
Concept & Ideation
With a finished mural that grounded the space and a loosely purposeful agenda, the room still needed spirit. What were we trying to say here? What kind of energy would drive and carry the space? Was it for the kids or the parents? I know… so many questions. Ultimately, we decided to tap into our roots a little. The space needed to be playful, vibrant, visually innovative, and functional.
Structural Inspiration - Furniture Design, Color Story, Content
Form needed to follow function, but form still had to be cool, right? Black metal piping, raw-compressed plywood, acrylic paint, PVC pipe trees, Edison-style pendant lighting - these were some ideas that got us there.
Each piece of furniture was custom built for the room, from my specifications. I wanted to create dimension and texture in the environment while avoiding busyness and excess, visual weight. All ideas tended to have an element of asymmetry, simplicity, and mixed media for the win. Measure twice.
1st CAD Iteration
This series was the first peek into what was in my head. Many burners were in the fire, but at this point, few products had yet to manifest. However, I had two brilliant craftsmen that would soon help me create any, and all, of my imaginings.
2nd Cad Iteration
Below are the final CAD renderings; you can see what roles the industrial materials begin to play within the space.
Moment of truth. All pieces, ideas, and materials were in place and the only thing left to do was everything. It was amazing seeing it come to life.
Window Display Concept
After the store was completed, I was tasked with developing some window display ideas for the holidays. Initially, I was not given a budget, so the concepts were broad in scope and intricacy. This specific direction was halted due to budget constraints, but the ideas were embraced enthusiastically.
Flower Street Window Display
This iteration was intended to be digitally printed on foam core board and laser cut. The different panels would be placed sequentially behind one another, similarly to the positioning of set pieces on a stage, but on a smaller scale.
DTLA Life Magazine
Interview and article from DTLA Life Magazine after the space was completed.