Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The newly designed Airstream...camping is not what it used to be!

I have many fond memories of camping as a child with my family. We had a ski boat and went almost every weekend to a pristine lake to camp and water ski. Or we would camp by a river where my father would fly fish while we climbed the side of mountains, skipped stones on the water and captured salamanders. I even cleaned the fish my father caught so mother could cook it in a cast iron skillet wrapped in bacon...oh the memories. Camping with five children meant sleeping in an Andy and Bax army green tent or under a tarp in "mummy style" sleeping bags. Those were the 1960's cut to 2012 and take a look at the newly designed airstream!  I could live here all year round!  

Below is an article from the New York times by Drew Kelly


Drew Kelly for The New York Times
The trailer has a queen-size bed and rounded cabinets.
Designed by Christopher C. Deam, a San Francisco architect who has been helping Airstream with its interior design for 13 years, it is still a prototype that may or may not be put into production.
You would certainly want to wipe the campground mud off your shoes before walking into this trailer. The aluminum interior is sleek and shining, with a queen-size bed, a streamlined bathroom with a shower and rounded cabinets for the sink, and capsule-shaped accent windows. And, of course, the trailer is Wi-Fi ready.
Mr. Deam, who runs CCD Architecture-Furniture, is married to Lara Hedberg Deam, the founder of Dwell magazine. They have 9-year-old twins, Cal, a son, and Macy, a daughter, and have done a bit of trailer travel themselves. Recently, Mr. Deam talked about his work.
How did you get involved in trailer design?
I was remodeling my brother Eric’s house with my friend Thom Faulders. This was around 1996. It was very small, like a 26-by-26 box, and we were looking at really efficient uses of space. So we turned our eyes to boats and R.V.’s to figure it out. The house won an A.I.A. Award and was in Sunset magazine, and they titled it “The Airstream Cottage.”
A light bulb went off in my head, and I thought, “I have to approach Airstream.” My idea was to review their interiors.
How did that work out?
They turned me down. They were, “You’re just not for our audience.” But then the opportunity arose for me to do a project with Wilsonart. They make plastic laminates. We came up with the idea of using a trailer for their trade show booth. Honestly, before the trailer arrived in my shop, I had never set foot in an R.V. before. For my brother’s house we had just looked at pictures.
What I found was, you had this great streamlined aerodynamic modern exterior, and then you opened the door and it was like grandma’s kitchen. There was a disconnect between the exterior and the interior. You approached the trailer and there was the magic promise of the future, and you walk in and it was like a log cabin on wheels. What we decided was, we had to do some kind of archaeology, stripping it down and getting rid of all the gewgaws and clunky interior, and taking it back to something really essential. I simplified it and emphasized the horizontal lines and put in a lot of fluid, curved laminates. We took that trailer to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, and we got the attention of an Airstream executive.
This new design reminds me of the first trailer you did for Airstream in 2000 — the Bambi, which is only 16 feet long. They both have aluminum interiors, but this one is much bigger: 27 feet long and 8 feet wide. Are there new features you’re especially proud of?
There are some smart space-saving devices: cutouts in the rounded sink area, rolling vertical doors. We use LED lighting, which uses less power, which is very critical when you are out on the road. We have what is called a split bathroom (a toilet and sink on one side of the hall and the shower on the other side) with thin accordion doors on either side you can use if you want to create one larger bathroom. You learn these little tricks. It’s also a story about light and the luminosity of the reflections on the aluminum. When you put wooden cabinets in, it always felt slightly foreign.
Aren’t fingerprints a problem?
You know, not so bad. You are going to leave a fingerprint on anything you touch, but the fact is, most of the cabinets are sized so you are touching the handles and not the cabinetry.
Do you have a trailer?
They built me a custom trailer, a little Bambi that unfortunately got stolen. It was in a storage lot in Sausalito, and somebody just cut the lock of the security gate and snipped my trailer lock.
Did you take any trips with your family?
Yeah, the last trip we took, the kids were like 6 months old. It was a disaster. They were sick and crying the entire time, and we discovered those curves on the inside of the trailer perfectly magnified baby screams. We went down to a campground on the coast, called Costanoa, on a planned three-day trip, and we made it a day and a half.
But this was in a 16-foot-long trailer. Are you sure you didn’t arrange for it to be stolen?
No. I can’t speak for my wife.

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