For Architectural Digest, by Stephanie Strasnick.
Through its 1960s counterculture movement to the present-day tech culture boom, the Golden State has given rise to some of the 20th and 21st century’s most recognizable — and sought after — product, logo and fashion designs. “California,” an upcoming exhibition at London’s Design Museum, celebrates these pioneering California-born products — ranging from self-driving cars to personal computers to pocket-size Snap Inc. smartglasses — that are feats of form and function and promote personal autonomy and self-expression.
Though California’s achievements in midcentury modernism have been thoroughly chronicled through exhibitions and scholarship, the state’s more recent global design appeal is being documented for the first time in this exhibition.
Divided in five thematic parts, “California” showcases designs that promote movement and escape, bend perceptions of reality, inspire self-expression and rebellion, breed collaboration with community and encourage users to rely on themselves.
While some of the 200 objects in this presentation are to be expected — such as the Apple I computer and the first consumer GPS device — there are some surprises in store, too. Among the show’s more unexpected objects are psychedelic LSD blotting papers, an at-home genetic engineering kit and Twitter’s interface design.
"California" is curated by Justin McGuirk and Brendan McGetrick and opens May 24.
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