The idea of the post was to simply share the video above. Then there was the realisation Paulus, Katy’s husband was an old mate! So the post has evolved into an exclusive interview with the creator of Caravannex Katy Wallace...
How did the interest in caravans actually start Katy?
I’m a furniture and spatial designer, always exploring how furniture defines and changes space. The caravan offers the ultimate small space to experiment with, and better still, a mobile space to take ideas on tour.
Was the Imp/KW Caravan project the genesis; as in, this is what I can do in this space…but, what if I started from the chassis up?
The KW Caravan, the first caravan I did (now 20 years old), was so popular and for many I’ve become known as the caravan lady. The Caravannex would never had happened without the legacy of the KW Caravan but it is its own thing with different goals. Firstly, it is a totally new build, it has none of the nostalgia attached to it that the Lilliput brought with it. And secondly it was exploring the theme of a ‘home away from home’, hence it has become a space that works equally well at home and away.
What role does Paulus fill, adviser, builder, labourer?
Paulus and I work together on most levels, he is a great sounding board for ideas, and we work really well together refining and resolving ideas – we are both really into it and love a good design challenge. Paulus has built a lot of the Caravannex, he is a registered builder and is amazing with precision and detail. He constructed the walls as flat panels. It took under 2 hours to assemble the body once all the prep work was done, that was an exciting day! We’ve constructed and refined the interior together.
Could you explain the build of Caravannex?
The Caravannex has been built from scratch. We commissioned a chassis to work with our design and have built the rest ourselves. The name Caravannex is a combo of caravan + annex, meaning the design is built to function both as a holiday vehicle and then an annex or extra room at home. If you berth the Caravannex next to you house it can connect through one of its doors and platforms to form an extension of your home, making it a useful space all year round. It has an architectural design to make the interior more home-like rather than vehicular and its shape is designed to extend the architectural language of whatever building it is parking up to. The interior is vey flexible meaning you can convert it in different ways to become office, studio, bedroom, lounge etc without feeling like you’re jammed between the toilet and the kitchen. It is much more spacious than a typical caravan as we have worked hard to make things fold away and disappear when not needed.
Do you guys use Caravannex as the family caravan?
We haven’t really had a chance to enjoy the Caravannex yet but this summer we will be giving it a whirl and fully testing our ideas. I was awarded a Creative New Zealand Fellowship Award in recognition of my career as a designer, which gave us the kick-start to get the Caravannex project going. So far it has been on show through festival and gallery channels and has hosted a number of artists who have used it as their studio, you can see that journey @caravannex on Instagram. It is a business asset for us, a great example of our work to show prospective clients who have a project they want to realise, or would like a Caravannex themselves.
Check out both Katy and Paulus’s fine work on their website HERE