Known for his bright, modernist pieces, Venice designer and fabricator Ilan Dei gets up close and personal at his eye-catching pop-up on 1650 Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Made out of three converted shipping containers rendered in brilliant colors with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, the installation exudes an inviting appeal even on this busy, uber-trendy street. “1650 Abbot Kinney has been an empty lot and a site for pop-ups for many years. I drive or cycle by everyday to and from our design studio,” said Dei, who quickly pounced when the site became available.
The shipping containers divide the store into three different areas. One section is reserved for selling Dei’s Cord Collection of outdoor furniture, his Namibia collection, and a selection of home accessories. Another section is open for curators: currently Wilshire Boulevard-based Edward Cella Art & Architecture Gallery, who will be showing new and recent works by artists including Brad Miller, Ruth Pastine, and Joni Sternbach. The final zone is a community area for classes and workshops.
With the launch of his own product label, “Ilan Dei Venice,” the store provides the designer the chance to get real-time feedback. The pop-up, which will be running until the end of September, is also a testing ground of sorts for Dei’s upcoming off-the-grid eco-hotel near Lake Isabella in the Sierras. The containers will become a permanent part of that project.