Art of VIBE: Do Lab Designer Josh Flemming Is Taking Art to New Heights


/ September 26, 2013

Do Lab co-founder Josh Flemming doesn’t know if what he does is exactly art. “I think it’s a combination between architecture and sculptures and art — big art,” he tells VIBE. We caught up with Flemming at the Lightning in a Bottle music festival this summer where his designs become interactive and colorful stages and structures. Example? The Wookie Stage — a collaboration with Do Lab co-designer Heather Shaw that is part treehouse and part DJ booth at the same time.

“Twelve years ago I started doing lighting design,” says Flemming, “and really got into sculpting with light. Gradually I started making little light sculptures and lanterns and those started turning into sculptures, or larger sculptures and then it just turned into full-on architecture and giant structures.”

Some of Flemming’s designs reach up to 60ft high. (You may have seen his bright yellow, orange and pink “treepees” at the center of Coachella this year.) During the day some designs will be a mixture of purples, greens and blues, but at nightfall they’ll glow and change colors taking on new life.

“We just want to create something that’s large and visually stimulating and colorful,” the modest Pennsylvania native tells VIBE.

Flemming doesn’t like to take credit for what he does. “You know, it takes many different carpenters and artists and it’s a collaboration with everybody,” he says “So, me, myself, I don’t consider any of these to be mine or my design only. I feel like it’s a collaboration with everybody, and everybody that works on it has a sense of ownership. It is for everybody, and it’s made by everybody, for everybody, by everybody.”