'California: Designing Freedom' Exhibition

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

An exhibition about how California has changed our lives is getting underway today at The Design Museum in London. Starting with the 1960's, the exhibition will chart the journey from counterculture to Silicon Valley’s tech culture. California has always pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to surfboards and iPhones. It brings together political posters, personal computers and self-driving cars but also looks at how user interface designers in the Bay Area are shaping our experiences and thoughts on design.

Composed of over 200 objects, the works assert that design in California is distinguished by an emphasis on individual freedom. The exhibition is curated in five themes, each of which explore different facets of this freedom.

 

GO WHERE YOU WANT: Tools of movement and escape
From LA's freeways to google maps, this section focuses on mobility and exploration.

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

 

SEE WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of perception and fantasy
From Disney to Hollywood, this section explores how California has pioneered news ways of looking at the world.

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

 

SAY WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of self-expression and rebellion
From new graphic languages to social media, this section explores the state’s culture of communication through posters, magazines and online platforms.

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

 

MAKE WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of production and self-reliance
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.

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

 

JOIN WHO YOU WANT: Tools of collaboration and community
From hippy communes to Facebook, this section examines tools that enable communities both on the ground and online.

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

Image Credit: Luke Hayes

 

California: Designing Freedom reveals how this culture of design and technology has made us all, in certain ways, Californians.

California: Designing Freedom
The Design Museum
24 May - 15 October 2017

designmuseum.org

Exhibition Curator: Justin McGuirk and Brendan McGetrick
Curatorial Assistant: Kyle Osbrink