Dezeen Magazine

Row of black cars with minimalist furniture

Black cars surround furniture by Willo Perron and USM in Sized Selects exhibition

American design studio Sized has arranged black cars around furniture for an exhibition in Los Angeles that aims to embody the city's "intrinsic" relationship with automobiles.

Part of a series of mobile exhibitions by Sized called Sized Selects, the show featured a series of cars displayed as "sculptures" in a Hollywood building that was once used as the headquarters of American business magnate Howard Hughes.

It is based around a collaboration between Sized founder Alexander May and American furniture company USM. May told Dezeen that the chrome used in USM's industrial-style modular furniture was the main material prompt for the greater exhibition.

Sized selects sign on the front of white LA storefront
Sized has created an exhibition that places all-black cars alongside furniture design. Photo by Damon Jones

"We wanted to bring the chrome of USM to life through the curation cars," he said.

"We selected black cars so you could just focus on the shape, as well as the chrome components of the car, connecting them with this classic USM element."

USM created a series of chrome-and-glass shelving units displayed in the entryway and collaborated with Canadian designer Willo Perron on a long table in the same style with small, wheeled chairs.

Black Lamborgini in concretre room
The show is meant to showcase LA's relationship with cars. Photo by Elizabeth Carababas

The long table was flanked on either side by more cars, arranged along the walls of a long passageway inside the building, which has been stripped down to its concrete foundations.

"[The exhibition] is a conceptual exploration of the city's intrinsic and storied relationship with motor vehicles and the significance of their sculptural and material interconnectedness," said the Sized team.

"It is a celebration of collaborative culture, automotive ingenuity, and the power of black."

Glass and chrome table and shelving
Design studios USM and Willo Perron collaborated on a glass-and-chrome table

Automobiles in the exhibition were curated in partnership with engineering consultancy Damon Jones, and several dealerships and private individuals were called upon to lend their cars for the show.

At the front of the line of vehicles was a 1993 Vector, a rare vehicle produced in the United States. The low-lying sportscar belonged to Vector chief designer Gerald Wiegert.

Interior of a classic car with chrome details
The cars selected were all black to highlight the chrome and the form of the vehicle design

Also on show was a 1982 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible and a 1993 Mercedes 500SEC AMG commissioned by American basketball player Shaquille O'Neal.

"The black, chrome and glass palette, an intentional extraction of color, allows shape, line, and frame to emerge in sharp relief, elevating form to a value on par with power and precision that defines automotive design excellence," said the Sized team.

May said he wanted to showcase the design alongside the vehicles to show the "sculptural" quality of the cars.

"It's a meditation on the shape and materiality of the vehicles," he said.

The show is an exercise in unifying different aspects of the design world that are not often showcased simultaneously.

USM tables at Sized Selects
Chrome features in both the USM furniture and the vehicles

"It pushes the boundaries, putting these things in the same room together," said May.

"Because, at the end of the day, people are living with all these things together but not experiencing that in shows."

Black Mercedes
Vehicles were supplied by dealerships and private individuals

Sized Selects is a quarterly showcase put on by May, who opened a brick-and-mortar location for his creative studio in 2022.

Other design exhibitions that featured automobiles include a show in Bilbao where British architect Norman Foster showcased several of his own classic cars.

The photography is by Carter Williams unless otherwise stated.

Sized Selects Los Angeles is on show from 27 February to 3 March in Hollywood. For more events, exhibitions and talks in architecture and design visit the Dezeen Events Guide

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Sized Selects car exhibition
Sized Selects car exhibition
Sized Selects car exhibition
Sized Selects car exhibition