I conceived of the Camper Bike while working in Beijing, assisting a New York artist on a painting project. I absolutely fell in love with Beijing, and became especially interested in the city’s bike culture. I knew I wanted to do something based on the bike culture, at least document them for a drawing or painting series. The idea of building a camper top came to me while having breakfast at an Open Market and it stuck. I think it was the sensation of eating outdoors on a fall morning that sparked memories of camping with my family. I made drawings and a couple of paintings based on the idea of the Camper Bike and on my third trip back to Beijing I decided to build it. One aspect of the project that I find really interesting is merging something quintessential Chinese with something very American.
The Camper Kart idea came to me while reading « The Road » by Cormac McCarthy. I was continuing work on the Camper Bike so the idea of combining campers with unusual vehicle was fresh in my mind. I though it was really interesting how Cormac McCarthy imagined the shopping cart as the most utilitarian and most practical object to use in a post apocalyptic time. The story covered the struggle of mobility and shelter. The Camper Kart was inspired by the story, not to provide a realistic solution, but mostly to stimulate conversation about self-reliance, mobility, and shelter. I found McCarthy’s story of father and son to be one of human perseverance and I intend the Camper Kart to symbolize the same. It also evokes the issue of homelessness—partly because the shopping cart has become ubitiqous symbol for those without homes—as well as the struggle of middle class Americans in hard economic times. Designing the Kart in a typical pop-up camper style in a much smaller space reflects the down-sizing most Americans are faced with.