If there’s an 'anti-design' wave surging, 'count us in,' say Gabriel Abraham and Ji Shin of the design team Atelier de Troupe, whose work lights up spaces such as The Apartment for The Line and, in collaboration with Commune Design, Ace Hotels in Los Angeles and Panama.
In their new 4,500 sq ft showroom and studio in LA’s industrial West Adams neighborhood, which is arranged as though for exhibition with evocative vignettes that reference installation art, they present this trend-resistance to strong effect. 'The starting point to the inspiration for the space was Martin Margiela, only because we don't want to be represented as yet another designer hipster couple, but more as a blurry design concept entity that keeps you guessing.'
Indeed, the only 'trend' that the pair knows they would like to perpetuate is their knack for collaboration. Since opening as a design studio five years ago, the former art director and commercial photographer have made a point of working with others, including modernist lighting with Ian McDonald; an exhibition in 2014 at their former space in Atwater Village that featured lights made by the artists Matt Paweski, Michael Rey and Jason Meadows; and new collaborations with UK-based furniture designer Dean Edmonds. The new Atelier de Troupe studio, conceived with the Uruguayan interior designers Estudio Persona, draws similarly on this spirit. Around thoughtful installation flourishes such as a cascading piece of sheet metal are recurrent, poetic egg forms and groupings by artist Emilie Halpern, whom Shin met through their childs’ preschool.
Elsewhere, Estudio Persona wooden planters set off Atelier de Troupe’s signature line of geometric lights in soft matte black or brass, inspired by Bauhaus and Art Deco; the two duos also collaborated on pieces for the new space, including an upholstered bench. 'We wanted the experience of sculpture garden a la Brancusi,' Shin and Abraham say. But being in LA also has its influences for the international couple. 'The next show will be a surrealist one, but because we are in LA, it will take from David Lynch.'