Royale & RC Design Federation Create Space Oddity with David Bowie Installation

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Dec 03, 2009

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Royale, RC Design Federation, David Bowie

Design Collaboration for "Rock ‘n’ Platinum Showcase" Intersects Motion&Spatial Design

Los Angeles, CA – (December 3, 2009) – Motion design&production house Royale and Designer Rogerio Carvalheiro, Principal of RC Design Federation, recently joined forces to create a David Bowie-inspired multi-media installation for “Rock ‘n’ Platinum: A Designer Showcase That Interprets Music Through Design.” 

The showcase was commissioned to introduce Lofts @ Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles -- the latest mixed-use development by eco-real-estate developers REthink. The development and its event pay tribute to the loft’s historic namesake and grounds where countless music icons including David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, KISS, and Johnny Cash once tracked indelible recordings. Royale & Carvalheiro’s punk-rock glam pad installation integrates their professional design focus: motion and interior design, respectively. Audiences first experienced the lush Bowie quarters, with the “Rock ‘n’ Platinum Review Party,” a special one-night event, which benefited Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. 
 
“I’m a huge fan of collaboration,” says Carvalheiro. “Jayson [Whitmore, Partner of Royale] and I have long discussed doing a project where space informs video and vice versa; particularly, how the two, in concert, impact one’s experience moving through environments. The Bowie installation is a true integration of video and space.” 
 
Tasked to create a “rock star habitat” out of the split-level “Bachelor Pad” (one of Cherokee’s 12 units), Carvalheiro’s design motif is a modern interpretation of David Bowie’s iconic self-transformations as an artist, as well as his flawless sense of rock ‘n’ elegant style. 
 
“Bowie’s creative body of work is rich with inspiration. He’s a true artist in the classic sense of the word, with a courageous dedication to the visual aspect of his music and characters -- even outside the performance realm, Bowie’s personal elegance and style is iconic.” 

Carvalheiro achieved the design motif by overlaying aspects of each era David Bowie emblazoned. This included marrying classically designed furniture (old and new) and myriad accessories. Royale was tasked to create two video installations (one for each level) that would communicate with the spatial décor’s high-contrast color palette, while enhancing the experiential cohesion of the “Bowie” motif, as a whole.

According to Carvalheiro, the loft’s levels were designed in response to how light enters the unit, evoking day & night experiences. Entering the airy top level, visitors encounter Royale’s first video piece: a mesmerizing portrait of David Bowie, which slowly morphs into abstractions of his various creative personas through the years. 

“The moving abstract painting is best understood and experienced in the context of the lush interior design elements Rogerio created,” comments Whitmore. 

Downstairs is Carvalheiro’s conjuration of an intimate “Bowie” suite. Design wise, the space features nooks adorned with glam stage memorabilia: glittery costumes, guitar amps, ceramic calaveras, fur throws, and a personal bar placed adjacent to the bed. Here, guests are immediately greeted by Royale’s second video installation. The looping four-minute montage splices motion graphics with Bowie film clips and interview footage, resounding between the sardonic industrial rock anthem “I’m Afraid of Americans” and classical music from the “Hunger” soundtrack, which David Bowie played cello on. 

“The installation downstairs represents the more literal Bowie,” says Whitmore. “To illustrate his ‘show’ side and ‘personal’ side, we juxtaposed the fast-tempo and ambient media centered around the music. Overall, it’s intended to entertain; whereas the piece upstairs is more of a fine art experience.”

Although strikingly different experiences, the concurrent installations symbiotically function in order to serve and channel spatial experience. Royale went for a “captivate-and-release" effect so to encourage exploration from one level to the next.   

“Royale’s motion graphics were integral to memorializing Bowie,” remarks Carvalheiro. “And the studio’s multimedia video downstairs truly impacted the emotional experience within the space, which was really the essence of our collaboration.”

Royale & Carvalheiro explored an array of media to realize their creative vision, including scouring the Internet and watching David Bowie’s vault of music videos, concerts, documentaries and film. 
 
“We drew from so many pages of Bowie’s repertoire and personal life,” remarks Carvalheiro. The motif enabled a unique intersection of our design emphasis, yielding a rewarding creative process that allowed our personal aesthetic to evolve and communicate. One certainly wouldn’t have worked without the other,” he concludes.

For more information on Royale, please visit www.weareroyale.com
RC Design Federation: www.rcdesignfederation.com


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