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


Butterfly Seats for Single-Aisle

Design | July 3, 2020

Butterfly is a flexible seating solution that allows instant transformation between premium economy/regional business class, and long-haul flatbed suites. It gives airlines the flexibility to adjust cabin configuration based on real time demand for each flight, allowing them to make the most efficient use of precious cabin space while maximizing passenger appeal. This innovative concept has won the prestigious Crystal Cabin Award, IATA's Passenger Innovation Award, and was selected into the first season of Airbus Bizlab accelerator. Read more


Raffles City Chongqing by Safdie…

Architecture | June 30, 2020

“While centuries old, Chongqing is now experiencing rapid growth and regeneration that demands thoughtful solutions to increased density and mega-scale projects." Read more


ROK Coffee

Design | June 21, 2020

ROK is all about helping good, decent coffee folk on their journey to Java nirvana. ROK believes that with the right tools anyone (who’s keen) can learn how to make an excellent cup of coffee. And that’s where ROK comes in. The tool people. Read more


NIKIN

Design | June 16, 2020

NIKIN is a sustainable fashion label from Switzerland and plants a tree for every product sold. A single tree doesn't change the world overnight, that's why NIKINs mission is: "Tree by Tree" - one tree after the other. With that mission in mind, NIKIN invests in tree planting programs to counteract the gobal deforestation. With every single product sold, the brand donates a certain amount to their partner organisation "One Tree Planted", to whom NIKIN maintains a close relationship. The American non-profit organisation plants and conducts tree planting campaigns around the world. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!