Thursday, February 23, 2017

EXHIBITIONS: London Design Museum does some California dreaming ...

 Spectacles by Snap, Inc.

The innovative and exuberant spirit of California and its design sensibility will
be celebrated at the stylish new London Design Museum, beginning on 
May 24 and running through October 15, 2017. While California’s mid-century 
modernism has been well-documented, California: Designing Freedom 
is the first international show to examine its strong global appeal,
whose essence is exploring the tools of personal liberatioh.

From skateboards to iPhones,
snazzy sunglasses to political posters and LSD blotting paper,
Waymo’s self driving car, the first consumer GPS device
and a replica of the Captain America chopper from Easy Rider,
the exhibition "explores how 'designed in California' expresses a 
distinctive approach to design and life." 
Patent drawing for the geodesic dome courtesy of The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller/Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio - See more at:
Patent drawing for the geodesic dome courtesy of The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller/Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio - See more at:
Patent drawing for the geodesic dome courtesy of The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller/Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio - See more at:
Patent drawing for geodesic dome, R. Buckminster Fuller,
America inventor, architect, and dreamer 

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."

 Black Panther poster, 1968

°     °     °     °     °     °     °     °
 California, Designing Freedom comprises approximately 200 objects, organized into 
five thematic sections. Collectively, these works assert that design in California is distinguished by an emphasis on individual freedom. The Brits seem to remain fascinated by America's spirit of independence and individuality, despite having moved toward a less rule-bound society themselves.

The five sections of the exhibition are organized as follows: 

GO WHERE YOU WANT: Tools of movement and escape
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. 

Waymo's sef-driving car 


Tools of self-expression and rebellion

California has a unique history of fostering freedom of expression, from from the Berkeley Free Speech movement to new graphic languages and social media. This section explores the state’s culture of communication through posters, magazines and online platforms. 

SEE WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of perception and fantasy
California is of course 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. 

Above: LSD blotting paper featuring the lads from Liverpool


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 it easier and more accessible 

to handcraft simple, utilitarian objects. The Whole Earth Catalog
the counterculture’s "bible of self-sufficiency",  
stood at the forefront of the "maker culture."

 Earthrise, by William Anders, an astronaut on Apollo 8 (1968), shot the iconic photo
that was to become the cover of the second and third editions of the catalog.

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 hippie 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. 

Opening ceremonies, 1984 Olympics
Los Angeles 
°     °     °     °     °     °     ° 
Below: Notes on the Design Museum

London's striking new Design Museum, designed by John Pawson,
 opened in late November 2016.

The 10,000 square metre venue, which used to occupy a former 1940s banana warehouse in Shad Thames, was relocated last year to the new building on 
Kensington High Street in west London. The new site is a quick 
walk to the Royal College of Art, the V&A museum, 
the Science Museum and the Serpentine Galleries. 
You could easily spend several days just wandering the neighborhood.

The move is expected to bring in an extra 400,000 visitors each year. 



  1. Fun post! Yay, California!

  2. Gifts are the means by which these museums remain alive since they require a ton of support and work. Museums in London