October 13, 2006

50 33 32 Modded Playsam Racers To Be Auctioned Off At Fitzsu

fitzsu_playsam_gp.jpg

Playsam and the Fitzsu Society in Pasadena have teamed up for the Fitzsu Grand Prix, a design auction Oct. 19th to benefit the World Childhood Foundation [no doubt the World Kitten & Puppy Foundations were on the beneficiary shortlist. Maybe next year!]. FitzSu rounded up 50 32 or 33 artists, architects, and designers to mod out the iconic Playsam Streamliner car. The unique pieces will be auctioned off live on the 19th in LA.

playsam_pacecar.jpg

If you can't make the auction but want to contribute to the WCF [through shopping, instead of just writing a check], Playsam has created a limited edition FitzsuGrandPrix Pace Car. Net proceeds from the sale of the 50 [ah, there's where I got that number] $110 cars [above] goes to the cause, as does profits from the Grand Prix catalogue and from bouncy OddBalls donated by Artecnica [for the race?]

There are some pretty sweet, smart and funny designs here, but the thing I love about these designer mod auctions is what they [inadvertenty?] reveal about the designers or their process. You can tell the guys who [there are only 3 women out of 50, btw] study and react to an object and start painting on it by hand, vs the ones who start chopping, vs the CAD/CAM guys with awesome studios full of interns who do all their thinking on computer, then hand it off for finishing.

Then there are the ones who make associative riffs on the shape--like Konstantin Grcic's great scrub brush, or Michael Graves' baldly literal reference to his own teapot. But that's how these things work: designers with a recognizable schtick brand play it up--Karim Rashid's car is instantly recognizable as his, and what's more perfect from an egotist minimalist like Richard Meier than one line and his autograph on an stock white car?--while up-and-comers try something offbeat, witty, or eye-catching.

Leave it to the kids to apply their trademarks without being tired about it, though: Touma's carved up mouseface and Richard Colman's secret, sliced Streamliner and Dalek's gloopy mess are standouts. Now as long as their richest friends show up at the auction to buy their stuff...

RSVP to the Fitzsu Grand Prix with Playsam, Oct. 19 [fitzsu.com]

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