On the occasion of Milan Design Week 2018, contemporary art magazine and creative studio KALEIDOSCOPE has teamed up with the iconic luggage company RIMOWA on a multi-platform project developing in print, online, and live. Featuring American artist/designer Dozie Kanu (b. 1993), who was invited to put a progressive outlook on this timeless icon of functional luxury and intelligent traveling, the collaboration will unfold through three separate but intertwined activations: a short film, an installation, and a printed publication. This event will mark RIMOWA’s debut in the context of Milan’s unparalleled design week, to coincide with the launch of their new visual identity designed by Bureau Borsche and Commission Studio.
In the short documentary directed by British filmmaker Sam Hiscox, Kanu is captured at work in his newly-set up studio in the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal. The studio is hosted in a still operational stone and marble factory, where Kanu is creating a new series of conceptual furniture pieces employing aluminium sheets and components from the classic RIMOWA suitcases.
In conversation, the 25-year-old Houston native explains his personal creative process—how he mixes high and low in creations “commingling hometown symbolism with a sleek modernism,” as described by The New York Times. The film follows him as he explores Lisbon to find inspiration in the city’s architectural landmarks: the brutalist Palácio da Justiça with its annexed skatepark; the Alvaro Siza-designed metro station of Baixa-Chiado; and the Vasco Da Gama Bridge by Santiago Calatrava, a cable-stayed engineering masterpiece and the longest bridge in Europe. While navigating this novel urban landscape, Kanu discusses the importance of traveling and constantly researching new environments: “From my experience, the more well-traveled a person is at a young age, the more open-minded and developed they turn out to be. Frequent travel is my way of constantly evolving.”
Melding street culture with design sensibilities, Kanu creates objects that are sculptural but still functional. The installation during Design Week will take place at Spazio Maiocchi, a new social space in Milan where art, design and fashion blend to shape new cultural experiences. Premiering the short film within an environment designed in collaboration with Bureau Borsche, the exhibit will present original artwork resulting from Kanu’s remix of RIMOWA’s quintessential aluminum material, and will be accompanied by a photo zine enclosed in KALEIDOSCOPE’s newest issue providing exclusive insight into to the making of this one-of-a-kind collaboration.