written by:
October 27, 2011

Here at Dwell, we love all things Airstream, that modernist silver bullet racing toward the freedom of the open road. And though some of the best Airstream design takes the object as a mobile home, French designer Thierry Gaugain (a decades-long lieutenant of Philipe Starck) has recently reimagined it as a mobile shop, or as he puts it, "a toy chest on wheels." Gaugain was employed by the outdoor clothing brand Aether to design a kind of mobile command unit to help sell its gear. The concept is that this Airstream is the home of a wandering adventurer who travels the world and occasionally sells what he's picked up along the way. I met Gaugain here in San Francisco last week and he took me through the design.

The AetherStream, as the company calls it, is presently in Los Angeles, though it will be setting out in early November for New York. Instead of a pop-up shop, the idea is to have a kind of mobile shop, one that functions just as well on the beach as in a
The AetherStream, as the company calls it, is presently in Los Angeles, though it will be setting out in early November for New York. Instead of a pop-up shop, the idea is to have a kind of mobile shop, one that functions just as well on the beach as in a downtown lot. The Airstream itself is a 34-foot PanAmerica model. Gaugain calls it a "beautiful, technological object."
1 / 6
Retail Shop Inside Airstream Trailer
Here's a view of the interior, which houses a fireplace by the contemporary fireplace company Focus and custom furniture (including the workbench) built by the L.A. firm Environment. The floor is made of reclaimed oak from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. In keeping with the vagabond adventurer, Gaugain told me that the workbench is the kind of place where he might repair his motorcycle or wax his skis.
2 / 6
Call it a kind of "brand experience" but you're meant to enter Aether's world inside the Airstream, and the other objects (books, camping gear) all reinforce the idea of a well-curated manly getaway.
Call it a kind of "brand experience" but you're meant to enter Aether's world inside the Airstream, and the other objects (books, camping gear) all reinforce the idea of a well-curated manly getaway.
3 / 6
Even our restless adventurer needs a place to lay his head.
Even our restless adventurer needs a place to lay his head.
4 / 6
Gaugain told me that although much of the work for the AetherStream was custom, he and Aether's founders wanted a degree of vintage bric-a-brac to give the space the sense of having been around the block a time or two. Gaugain sourced much of what you see
Gaugain told me that although much of the work for the AetherStream was custom, he and Aether's founders wanted a degree of vintage bric-a-brac to give the space the sense of having been around the block a time or two. Gaugain sourced much of what you see inside from his favorite Parisian flea markets. "A toy chest on wheels for a guy."
5 / 6
A quick glimpse of the back opened up. As you can see, not every square foot is devoted to retail. "The purpose is not to have a 100% efficient shop," says Gaugain. Instead he wants to suggest "the life of the story," as opposed to creating a strictly com
A quick glimpse of the back opened up. As you can see, not every square foot is devoted to retail. "The purpose is not to have a 100% efficient shop," says Gaugain. Instead he wants to suggest "the life of the story," as opposed to creating a strictly commercial experience.

Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

6 / 6
The AetherStream, as the company calls it, is presently in Los Angeles, though it will be setting out in early November for New York. Instead of a pop-up shop, the idea is to have a kind of mobile shop, one that functions just as well on the beach as in a
The AetherStream, as the company calls it, is presently in Los Angeles, though it will be setting out in early November for New York. Instead of a pop-up shop, the idea is to have a kind of mobile shop, one that functions just as well on the beach as in a downtown lot. The Airstream itself is a 34-foot PanAmerica model. Gaugain calls it a "beautiful, technological object."

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016