Susan Simpson designs cabinets, architectural elements, kiosks and sculptural objects that open or reveal their contents in surprising ways.
These objects all invite interaction and close viewing.
Silver Lake Library Pods (in development)
A model for street library pods designed by Susan Simpson (a project currently in development ). These will be stand alone street libraries with book shelves and peephole scenes depicting a moment in the history of the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The design is inspired by egg shaped phone booths and pre-cinematic viewing devices. This project was commissioned by the Silver Lake neighborhood council. Pods will be installed throughout the neighborhood in 2019.
Huntington Library Design Projects
Over the past few years I have lead three projects for the Huntington Library, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens. The first was as an Artist in Residence working with local high school students to create a 700ft photo mural. The mural stretched around a construction site for two years during the completion of the new Huntington facilities. The second was to design an outdoor mobile display unit to display art work done by students from schools partnering with the Huntington. The third was creating an illustrated map of the Huntington using drawings and thank-you letters from young visitors.
Display Cases for Huntington Education Center
Two folding outdoor display cases designed for The Huntington's Education Center in 2015. These are portable units for the purpose of displaying student art work as well as the ephemera related to their art making process.
Display cases with the first exhibit of student work.
Mobile display cases with the first student exhibit.
Change the World One Bus at A Time 2016
A multi-panel three dimensional map of the grounds created for the mobile display cases designed in 2015. The map was illustrated with children's drawings of Huntington artwork and gardens. It is part of a campaign to raise funds to provide transportation for field trips to The Huntington.
Detail from the Save the World One Bus at a Time display.
Detail from the Save the World One Bus at a Time display designed by Susan Simpson.
Second Campus Photomural
A 700ft photomural created with students from three high schools that partner with The Huntington. The students were all photographed holding photos that they took at the Huntington and in and around their neighborhood of East Los Angeles. The mural stretched around the construction site for two years during the construction of the new Huntington facilities.
Augustine September Kiosk
The Far East Plaza, Chinatown, Los Angeles
September - December 2014
This kiosk was a design and performance project for Automata. It was both puppet theater and display case. It housed an “artist in residence”, the puppet known as Augustine September, who painted pictures and made performance art incorporating objects and imagery from around the plaza. The display cases featured Augustine’s work that strung together a fictional narrative inspired by the goings on about the plaza. The peepholes offered magnified views of objects collected in the vicinity.
Kiosk designed for Augustine September, 2014
Kiosk design and built around a pre-existing vendor kiosk in The Far East Plaza, Chinatown, Los Angeles. The kiosk included windows for viewing performance, display cases and peepshows.
Detail Augustine September Kiosk
Peephole for Augustine September Kiosk
The Infinite Library
A cabinet of dioramas and peepshows created by Susan Simpson, a public artwork commissioned by The City of Inglewood. The Infinite Library was installed in April of 2017 and is on permanent display at The Crenshaw Imperial Library.
Lilka -Toy Theater Cabinet
Toy theater design for The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, by Abbie Phillips and Directed by Dan Bonnell at the Falcon Theater in Los Angeles, in April 2014. Susan Simpson designed and built the toy theater as well as the shows that were performed inside of it. Included here are concept drawings, the cabinet and the images of the puppet show contained within.
Reading Ours, founded by Robby Herbst and Kimberly Varella, is a micro-gallery celebrating the book, published objects, the history of publication, and the reader. It’s a tiny space for big ideas in Los Angeles.
Susan Simpson is designing and building the gallery space and architectural elements in two phases. Phase I is complete and see in photos on the left. Phase II will be completed this spring (see photo of the model below)
Phase 1 detail
Model of Phase II
Phase II will give the space expanded exhibition area, with built in shelving and personal reading station.