'Wave Relic' Pop-Up with Haydenshapes x Daniel Arsham x Stampd
Content capture and creation
How does an Australian surf brand launch a global artistic collaboration while remaining true to its roots?
In late 2017, Sydney-based surfboard shaper Hayden Cox (Haydenshapes) and New York City-based artist Daniel Arsham (Daniel Arsham Studio and Snarkitecture) shared a conversation about the consistencies and potential between their individual practices. Hayden, who has spent a lifetime taming natural forces through functional design, and Daniel, whose exploration of time provides a narrative backbone to his artistic practice, each recognised an opportunity that the other could enable—a space between to explore something new.
"Hayden has perfected something by refining it. He is a user and a maker, and that gives him a very unique knowledge set in his craft."
Daniel Arsham, Arsham Studio
Semi Permanent was approached to help tell the story of the 'Wave Relic' collection and give it context in the physical world by creating a retail pop-up space that reflected the multifaceted collaboration.
Sharing a mutual curiosity for the ocean, technical craftsmanship and collaboration, ‘Wave Relic’ represents three different design backgrounds across art, surf and apparel coming together on a project led by experimentation, encompassing the fully functional 'Eroded' and ‘Sketch Erosion’ boards, as well as a solid, clear-resin ‘Crystal’ surfboard sculpture. The range is rounded out by a limited edition capsule collection by LA-based contemporary apparel designer Chris Stamp of Stampd, distributed through selected retailers around the globe.
Bringing 'Wave Relic' to the city and the sea
As a project with relevance for both surf and art consumers, it made sense that this experience would live in the instance of both.
Launching in a tucked-away location behind Australia’s most iconic beach - Bondi Beach, the pop-up then moved into the city as part of A Semi Permanent Hotel, an immersive 48-hour experience presented by Semi Permanent and Highsnobiety, held within the rooms of a boutique hotel.
Released as an edition of 500, the Eroded Surfboard sold out online in 4 minutes and 30 seconds, while an in-store waitlist exceeded stock on opening night.
Close to 2,000 attendees visited the pop-up experience, interacting with the story behind the boards and gaining a better understanding of the material innovations required to manufacture them.
In the Bondi pop-up we wanted to showcase the full collection we've created and incorporate the workshop element of the project, allowing guests to participate and create their own limited edition 'Wave Relic' object in-store, repurposing waste materials.
Hayden Cox, Haydenshapes
In reflecting a collaboration based on material storytelling, the design of the experience had to be sustainable while staying true to the shared visual language of each collaborator.
We used the building blocks of surfboards themselves—PVC foam—and eroded them by hand into a living embodiment of the collection. Boards were displayed using Haydenshapes’ signature hangers, with the limited release Stampd collection on display and available to purchase. Custom uniforms reflected Arsham Studio’s archeological aesthetic, while digital screens played infinite loops of the functional boards in action, featuring legendary Haydenshapes team surfer Craig Anderson and seven-time World Surf League champion Stephanie Gilmore.
To help bring the experience to life, we collaborated with Haydenshapes' long-term partners Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen and luxury automotive brand Audi.
Partners participated in exclusive morning surfing sessions with Hayden Cox, private talks and tours of the collection and the opportunity to create their own fins using PVC foam up-cycled from the installation. Semi Permanent also brokered editorial opportunities for the collaboration, and promoted the collection to our social media and online communities.
A project three-years in the making, 'Wave Relic' was driven by relentless experimentation and problem-solving at each of the concept, material, chemistry and production stages. We’re so happy to have had the opportunity to share the story of Wave Relic, and believe it sets a benchmark for how materials and craft can be pushed beyond their limits into something that becomes effortless.