One man with many ideas, Jay Nelson seems to have custom and totally unique campers or mini-homes in store for every occasion, including tree houses, a sleeper boat, unconventional caravans and even a scooter camper.
It would be too easy to classify his work, which is not ‘neo-hippy’ nor ‘steampunk’ but a blend of childhood fantasy tempered with adult reality, always carefully responsive to practical needs and functional materials.
A common theme: space for a surfboard on top, whether it be a water- or land-going vessel, and unconventional shapes, be they angular or curved.
There is no mistaking his conversions or additions for being anything but new and different, but there is also a way that they work with what is there – in this case, for instance, extending the lines (and thus streamlining) an otherwise clunky white Honda Civic.
And it is amazing what he manages to pack into a single project, especially starting roughly from scratch: “The Golden Gate is an electric camper car measuring 96″x54″x64″. Made with fiberglass, epoxy resin, plywood, glass, bike parts and electric motor. The vehicle can drive 10 miles on a charge and goes up to 20 mph. The interior has a kitchen with sink, stove, cooler, storage cubbies, toilet, a bed and storage below the bed. All of the controls are in the steering wheel. The driver sits cross legged while operating the vehicle.”
About Jay Nelson
“I’m interested in architectural forms because of the weight they carry in our lives. on the most basic level they provide us with a safe place to rest and think but they also determine the way we interact with each other and create a frame for the outside world. Arranging the pieces of a structure is infinite and those arrangements make us who we are. “
“While working through projects I have come to consider the different pieces of a structure, how these parts are arranged and what they represent. A window is a way of directing a persons gaze towards a view or an idea I want to share. I use Furniture to influence interaction with a space an art work or another person. The roof and walls encourage privacy, intimacy and inwardness. lighting draws the gaze.”
“In a museum a bench is placed in front of a painting. It is a visual cue telling the person to stop and sit this distance from the artwork. The bench may be just as important as the painting in evoking an experience. This gesture was the starting point for my current work. Typically a painter makes a painting for a structure but why not make a structure for a painting. The objective in my work is using structures to direct an experience . Sometimes I’m directing an experience for my self like with my mobile structures and dwellings and other times Im directing an experience for an audience.”