It's an undisputed truth that some of L.A.'s best meals are served on the street. So why shouldn't L.A.'s finest food trucks have outdoor seating that equals their culinary excellence? Design Truck, a concept by Los Angeles designers Brendan Ravenhill and Chris Adamick, hopes to remedy this curious quandary of curbside dining by providing a mobile furniture gallery which can comfortably seat the noshing masses. The duo will be launching the first outing of Design Truck this weekend and Ravenhill will be talking more about the creation at dwellondesign.com.
As a newcomer to Los Angeles earlier this year, Ravenhill eagerly added his neighborhood's ubiquitous taco trucks to his diet. But it wasn't long before the furniture and lighting designer started brainstorming ways to make diners more comfortable while downing carne asada. The idea for a movable design show merged with his food truck fantasy one late night over drinks when Ravenhill and Adamick were discussing the lack of design shows in a city with such an abundance of local talent. "A design truck which followed local food trucks seemed like a cheap way to showcase upcoming L.A. designers in a dynamic environment that is uniquely L.A.," says Ravenhill.
This weekend, Design Truck will tag behind L.A.'s hottest food trucks as they make their Twitter-announced stops outside stores and bars across the city. As the trucks start serving, Ravenhill and Adamick will set an ad hoc seating area on the adjacent sidewalk and encourage diners to eat their sustainably raised, locally sourced Asian-fusion cuisine while seated on, say, an enameled aluminum and American white oak bench under the light of a blown-glass pendant lamp inspired by bundled newspapers. All of the pieces will be for sale, many at significantly discounted prices, says Ravenhill. "This means that the show should be getting smaller as the weekend goes on!"
Like food trucks, which allow small businesses to launch with a light footprint and low budget, Design Truck allows many of these designers to have cheap, high-impact visibility during the new Los Angeles Design Festival. Besides Ravenhill and Adamick, the designers include Bend Seating, Kelly Lamb, Sam Moyer, Scout Regalia, Brooke Woosley, Machine Histories, whyrHymer, Woodsmithe, Aprro, and Clancy Pearson, many of whom will be showing at no other venues during the festival.
By taking the furniture out of the showrooms and into the streets, Ravenhill and Adamick also hope that the truck will connect the sprawling, spread-out design community in L.A. "We both shared the opinion that this city is full of amazing designers who don't know one another," says Ravenhill. "Design Truck seemed like a great chance to tap into our networks of talented friends and create a show that brought together some of these people." And while they say Design Truck will be a recurring event, they're not ruling out a brick-and-mortar brand extension as well. "I like the idea of a pop-up restaurant featuring a varied collection of furnishings by L.A. designers," says Ravenhill. "I think that these objects are best appreciated through use."
You can find Design Truck on Friday, June 24 with Kogi at Stussy, 112 S. La Brea, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday, June 25 with Heirloom LA at Bar Covell, 4628 Hollywood Boulevard, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Plus, designer Brendan Ravenhill will be talking about the concept at Dwell on Design as part of The Sustainable Consumer panel at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday's Sustainability Stage. Purchase your Exhibition Plus ticket by registering at dwellondesign.com.