SCOUT REGALIA- LOS ANGELES
|Each year, when Milan, Paris and New York design weeks are approaching, we go around the different off-site exhibitions from upcoming designers with the hope and dream to find some new designers, young and upcoming yet timeless, like they’ve been designing forever, with a design philosophy that is more subtile, less loud. This year, we found Scout Regalia! We love their idea of an office that can travel everywhere, to get inspired and see the world. It’s the same way we look at MySuites; one day, be everywhere and travel around with the suites! Here is our inspiring interview with Makoto and Ben, designers from Scout Regalia.|
| Trail Registry for High Desert Test Sites |
|1. It seems your mission is to create a “visual identity” of the space, design, interiors, graphic, which is a wonderful mission and dream for any designer! How difficult is it to combine that idea with the business reality?|
Thanks so much! We think that creating a visual identity starts with a good narrative. We like to design spaces, interiors, and graphics with the intent that people can see and understand our overall objectives and “story”. With our Trail Registry for High Desert Test Sites, we created a trail registry to delineate the entrance to a sculptural site, but also wanted it to have influences of the desert and the West. We designed a project that pulled together influences from totem poles, national park registries, and nudie suits with representations of the variety of flora and fauna of the high desert. It’s a narrative that translated to design really well.Creating a visual identity can be challenging but it makes for projects that can really speak to people. It’s also fun to design every little detail of a product or space to fit in line with an overall aesthetic and design intent (that’s probably our architectural training coming into play).
2. Your design merges into the surroundings, it seems that you don’t want to make loud statements, the opposite from designers in the 90’s that polluted the profession. Are we getting this right?
Absolutely. We strive for a sense of timelessness in our designs and we aspire to create spaces and products that engage people in meaningful ways. Our Scout Regalia motto is to “celebrate the inherent design of everyday living.” We aren’t the type of designers who impose our aesthetic in situations that wouldn’t fit the program or the user, and we don’t need to be loud to make a statement.
3. Your design has a “soft touch”; we can see more of a Scandinavian influence, which probably is a good match with the California culture in a way?
Living in Los Angeles has definitely had a huge influence in the design direction of Scout Regalia. Our first products, the SR Raised Garden Kit and the SR Outdoor Table Set, were designed and inspired by living in LA with a backyard big enough to garden and dine outside. Los Angeles is an inspiring place to be a designer, a maker, a thinker, and a do-er. Only in LA can you build prototypes in your backyard in January, or drive an hour to find inspiration from the sea or the mountains. Los Angeles is a special place to work, and an amazing place to live. Scandinavian design, as well as American design, is definitely a big influence in our design direction.
| SR Outdoor Garden Kit |
| SR White Oak Table Set |
4. Do you think your broad approach to design will be the future?
Being a multi-disciplinary design office has always been our intent with Scout Regalia. We enjoy designing products and furniture in addition to spaces, but it’s also been a decision made of necessity. It’s hard to rely solely on commissions to survive as a designer. Sometimes, you need to take your own initiative, design a product or a piece of furniture, and put it out in the world.
5. Do you think the idealism of designers to make a better life in any sense will still be valuable or designers will surrender to a more specialized society?
We hope that the qualitative value of design will continue to be appreciated as a whole. This last recession seems to have had an interesting effect in starting conversations about quality and timelessness, probably as a reaction to the free-for-all spending that defined the bubble. Who knows if it will stick but we appreciate the discussion it’s prompted about the true and lasting value of goods. We often talk about how design can learn from the food movement. A generation ago, local and organic food was considered a luxury and people didn’t really think about where their food was coming from. Now, there is a growing understanding of how food is produced and processed. We hope that people start looking at design in a similar light with an awareness of where and how something is designed and fabricated, with an appreciation for the value of supporting local and stateside industries.
6. If you could open a design studio in any part of the world, where would it be?
A mobile office so we can travel everywhere! We love working and living in LA, but our dream would be to have a Dodge Sprinter or some sort of cool van where we would travel across the continent and get inspired by all the new things we see and do.
7. What would be your ideal project to run and work on now?
We always talk about designing and building a small “vacation office” outside the city. When we lived in New York, we designed (but never built) a small office in upstate New York. Now, we’re fantasizing about a vacation office in the Eastern Sierras. We’d love to design a little vacation cabin near the Sierras that can be our rural Scout Regalia headquarters.
8. Who are the designers you look at as a source of inspiration?
Archigram, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Hans Wegner, Charles & Ray Eames, everything in the Tools book by Huge Magazine, Field Notes.
|| SR Bookcase ||
| Meet the founders: Benjamin Luddy and Makoto Mizutani |