KANEKO’s summer exhibit highlights spaces and technologies for a portable lifestyle
There’s light at the end of the railroad tunnel for the comfort-loving wanderlustful: as displayed in a new exhibit, architects and designers are working hard to combine portable simplicity with modern convenience through a new generation of mobile spaces that leave camper vans in the dust.
Omaha-based non-profit KANEKO has partnered with several cutting-edge West Coast architectural firms to present “Truck-a-Tecture,” an exhibit seeking to redefine the architecture of mobility through technical expansion. Featuring four full-scale mobile structures, the show is a “mash-up of popular and elite cultures” seeking to “transcend the current definitions of ‘pre-fab’ and ‘mobile architecture.’”
Curated by California-based architect Mark Mack, the exhibit includes projects from fellow Californians Jones Partners, Architects, Min|Day, Office of Mobile Design, and Mack’s own team. As Mack explained to the Omaha World-Herald, the participants approached the subject of mobile habitation in different ways, the results including a “neo covered wagon,” an “inside-out RV,” and a catch-all display vehicle for pop-up retailers. Mack went on to explain that the process was as important as the product:
The whole idea is about expanding architecture on a sort of mobile scale [...] We want to create awareness for the design process in general. Design is everywhere. It’s just how you look at it.
Mack was also interested in creating “some kind of vehicle for Burning Man,” he said. After the exhibition, Mack is going to test out his own structure at the annual week-long festival in the Nevada desert, where comforts are famously few, all water and supplies must be brought in, and surviving dust storms in a tent is tradition.
In addition to the installations, Truck-a-Tecture includes a symposium on mobile architecture, talks from the architects, and film screenings of classic and contemporary road movies.
KANEKO is also featuring a parallel exhibition — “OFF-SITE: Prefabrication and the Home” — in an adjacent gallery. Jennifer Siegal, the mind behind Office of Mobile Design and OFF-SITE’s curator, explained her goals for the exhibit and its symposium to Omaha’s Action 3 News:
[It] will offer the public an opportunity to examine close-up contemporary prefab models, interpret and reconsider new building formats, and come away with a new vision for the future of off-site manufacturing.
Open through August 23 at KANEKO’s Omaha headquarters, the shows will allow visitors to compare the architects’ different takes on building mobility, see the structures transform or take shape live from ‘travel size’ formats, and even give some of the spaces a test drive.
Images: KANEKO, Jones Partners, Architects, Min|Day, Tom Kessler, Office of Mobile Design