1,926 Miles: Backpacking to San Francisco


"1,926 Miles: Backpacking To San Francisco" is a collaboration between Houston based artist, Julia Gabriel, and owner of Rare Device, Giselle Gyalzen. Giselle sent photos to Julia of buildings in her neighborhood that help define San Francisco as her home. The work produced by this exchange demonstrates how the idea of home can be translated through architecture. Julia created each of the historic 'Painted Ladies' as functional backpacks that hold their own as pieces of sculpture. Hand dyed fabrics and carefully stitched details bring these fiber buildings to life and allow their owners to feel at home wherever they roam.

About Julia Gabriel: Julia Gabriel is drawn to architecture and the idea that a building has a soul. The second we enter a space, or even upon viewing the exterior, we feel an emotion. No matter how subtle, the building instantly gives us a vibe that cannot be explained in architectural terms. There is no specific type of crown molding that universally defines the feeling of home, or a smell of a space that makes us all feel the same sense of longing or mourning. It is this emotion, and ambiguity in defining it that I focus on; the juice and guts of a building that impact us whether we realize it or not.

Julia Gabriel wants her work to stay true to the feeling of a building but also it's most basic function as shelter. By adding straps and a closure to a fiber building, it becomes a backpack that hugs its owner for a ride past other buildings, inside of buildings, down sidewalks, and through alleyways. No longer plated in the ground, this idea of home can now be carried on your back.