Trend Spotting:

What's with all the skeletons?

Recently I was in LA (Brett writing here...) and as I was driving between meetings, I couldn't help but notice a design trend that's everywhere. Here are my thoughts with some crazy examples at the very bottom of this post.

Public art at Platform, one of the newest developments in the heart of Culver City, CA. Here it's just the skeleton of a series of boxes that drew me in.

These are just a handful of photos of what I'm calling skeletal forms. It's as if designers, architects, artists were asking themselves: "What's the barest amount of form I can use to shape this object?" and then they add extremely minimal decoration. Everywhere, very linear, sparse and transparent.  From the chairs, to the objects, to the architecture, to the landscape.  

While it's always hard to figure out the origin of trends, to me it's some sort of reaction the the dying trend of "fake authenticity" we've been seeing at retro, "old timey," baseball parks, t-shirt shops and, of course, the fakest-of-all: KC Power and Light District. Everywhere, I'm seeing designers stripping away the fake to get to the un-cushioned purity and authenticity of form.

The awning-free overhangs at Blue Bottle Coffee on the buildings are pure form and no decoration.From the money clips, to candle holders, to  bowls, products are as skeletal as possible. 

Above we have a trash can. Exposed structure of the landscaped path. Light fixture. Even the flowers (proteus) are more form than petals.

OK, finally. On the left is a new building to house a single new restaurant. If you want to see LA pretentiousness at it's best, click this link and watch the video: Vespertine.  And next door, yes, you're right, a vertical cactus farm. Form, structure and exposed skeletons everywhere.  Will this hit KC? Who knows...