California: Designing Freedom
“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 its current global reach. Picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from the counterculture to Silicon Valley’s tech culture.
From Monday 21 to Monday 28 August inclusive, tickets to the exhibition are 2 for 1. Click the BOOK NOW button and the offer will automatically be applied to your basket.
How did California come to have such a powerful influence on contemporary design? California: Designing Freedom explores how the ideals of the 1960s counterculture morphed into the tech culture of Silicon Valley, and how ‘Designed in California’ became a global phenomenon.
The central premise is that California has pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to surfboards and iPhones. This ambitious survey brings together political posters and portable devices, but also looks beyond hardware to explore how user interface designers in the San Francisco Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences. By turns empowering, addictive and troubling, Californian products have affected our lives to such an extent that in some ways we are all now Californians.
"With some 300 items on display, there are plenty of unusual artefacts to relish" - The Times ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"A slice of California cool" "This show gets a thumbs up from us" - The Londonist ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"A hugely ambitious celebration of the world’s design capital...a must-see" - City AM ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Student/ concession £12
Educational group booking price: £3-£7 per student (groups of 10 or more)
Family (1 adult + 3 children) £24
Family (2 adults + 3 children) £36
Child (6 - 15 years) £8
Children under 6 years free
10% discount is applied when booking 10 or more tickets online. Alternatively, please contact the Bookings Office (Mon - Fri 10;00 to 17:00) on +44 20 3862 5937 or +44 20 3862 5900.
Become a member for unlimited free entry to all exhibitions.
*Concession tickets include seniors (over 60 years), the disabled and job seekers.
60 minute tour of the exhibition with a curator-trained and experienced Design Museum tour guide
£9 plus exhibition ticket
Open to individuals or groups, further enquiries to email@example.com
Members, please contact the bookings office to purchase a ticket +44 (0)20 3862 5937
Meet the guide at the Atrium steps 5 minutes before tour start time
Explore the exhibition
This section of the exhibition resolves around freedom of movement and focuses on mobility, from navigation to portability and exploration.
This section explores how California has pioneered new ways of looking at the world, from acid trips to virtual reality.
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.
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,
To celebrate the California: Designing Freedom exhibition, The Design Museum has teamed up with Visit California and Elegant Resorts to offer a once in a lifetime holiday to California. Find out more about the competition and how to enter.
Sprawling and reliant on the car, Los Angeles was never considered an ideal city. But in the early 1970s it started to be appreciated as a city of signs and pop-up buildings – a city to be consumed from behind the wheel of a car. In 1969, a group called Environmental Communications started to document the unique culture of Los Angeles in the name of architectural education.
This free display in the museum’s atrium explores how a collective of architects and photographers started to document the unique changing culture of Los Angeles in the 1970s in the name of architectural education.
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