California: Designing Freedom | ITSLIQUID

California: Designing Freedom

Design | June 15, 2017 |

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

California: Designing Freedom
The Design Museum, London
24 May – 15 October 2017

 

From skateboards to iPhones and start-up garages, the exhibition explores how “Designed in California” expresses a distinctive approach to design and life California‘s drive to create tools of personal liberation is explored through a diverse landscape ranging from LSD blotting paper and political posters to portable technology. Rare exhibits include hand-drawn sketches of the Apple Macintosh’s icons, concept artwork for Blade Runner, and, on display for the first time in the UK, Waymo’s self-driving car (formerly the Google self-driving car project).

 

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

Designed in California” is the new “Made in Italy“. While California’s mid-century modernism is well documented, this is the first exhibition to examine the state’s current global reach. Picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from counterculture to Silicon Valley’s tech culture. Its central idea is that California has always pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to surfboards and iPhones. This ambitious survey brings together political posters, personal computers and self-driving cars but also looks beyond hardware to explore how user interface designers in the Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences and expanding what we think of as designCalifornia: Designing Freedom is composed of over 200 objects, curated in five thematic sections. Collectively, these works assert that design in California is distinguished by an emphasis on individual freedom. The exhibition’s five themes explore different facets of this freedom.

 

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

GO WHERE YOU WANT: Tools of movement and escape
So many of the innovations associated with California, from LA’s freeways to Google Maps, revolve around freedom of movement. This section of the exhibition focuses on mobility, from navigation to portability and exploration. Exhibits include Waymo’s self-driving car, the first consumer GPS device and a replica of the Captain America chopper from Easy Rider.

 

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

SEE WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of perception and fantasy
California is best known as the land of make-believe, the home of Disney, Hollywood and videogaming. This section explores how California has pioneered new ways of looking at the world, from acid trips to virtual reality. Exhibits include Syd Mead’s artwork for Blade Runner, LSD blotting paper and early videogame graphics.

 

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

SAY WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of self-expression and rebellion
California has its own history of enabling freedom of expression, from new graphic languages to social media. This section explores the state’s culture of communication through posters, magazines and online platforms. Exhibits include Emory Douglas’s Black Panther posters, David Carson’s design for Ray Gun magazine and Twitter’s interface design.

 

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

MAKE WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of production and self-reliance
Perhaps no place has done more to democratize access to industrial technology than California. This section features tools that have made ‘making’ easier and more accessible, from the Whole Earth Catalog, the counterculture’s bible of self-sufficiency, to the Apple Macintosh and the open-source tools of the ‘maker’ culture. Exhibits include an original Apple 1 computer, IDEO’s voting booth for Los Angeles County and a home kit for genetic engineering.

 

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

JOIN WHO YOU WANT: Tools of collaboration and community
Since the founding of California, the freedom to create your own community has been considered essential to success and survival. From hippy communes to Facebook, this section examines tools that enable communities both on the ground and online. Exhibits include a geodesic dome, Sussman Prejza’s designs for the 1984 LA Olympics and documentation of the early Burning Man festivals.

 

The Design MuseumImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

Diverse, engaging, revolutionary and addictive, Californian Design has impacted so many aspects of our lives. California: Designing Freedom reveals how this culture of design and technology has made us all, in certain ways, Californians.

 

more. designmuseum.org

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


Loong Swim Club. X+Living

Design | July 30, 2021

The combination of service-oriented business with new business forms is a trend. The designer experimentally integrates the subsidiary functions of the project with the main business, re-optimizes the main functions of parent-child sports training, and builds the project into a comprehensive space for swimming and sports education, integrating entertainment and leisure. Read more


ME&GLENDA

Fashion | July 15, 2021

Glenda Menia Cadore is the owner of an historic eyewear company founded by her father in 1983 in Cadore, Italy. The design education and the work experiences carried out before totally committing to the management of the family business, pushed her in recent years to resume her passion for design and to create a collection of high-quality manufacturing eyewear capable of expressing important concepts: craftsmanship, beauty, passion and emotion. Read more


SevenFriday

Fashion | July 6, 2021

Back in 2012, driven by this motto, Daniel Niederer founded SEVENFRIDAY. Founded and headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, SEVENFRIDAY represents a life attitude, a lifestyle brand creating watches and eyewear with unique and iconic designs. Read more


ART BARN OF THOMAS RANDALL-PAGE

Design | June 22, 2021

Thomas Randall-Page slides open a muted agricultural building to reveal an elegant new art space for his father, the sculptor Peter Randall-Page RA. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!