Exhibition: California - Designing Freedom

Image Credits | California: Designing Freedom. Photographs ©Luke Hayes.

From the iconic Captain America chopper from Easy Rider and Gilbert Baker’s original eight-colour Rainbow Flag, to the start-up garages where the likes of Apple and Disney originated - the Design Museum’s latest exhibit shows how Californian design has impacted our way of life.

For the Design Museum, California represents personal freedom to: ‘Go Where You Want’, ‘See What You Want’, ‘Say What You Want’, ‘Make What You Want’ and ‘Join Who You Want’. The exhibition is broken down to these five themes that take Californian-born designs or movements and break down their influence on a global scale. The exhibition charts the state’s evolution of design and technology from its early roots in 1960s counterculture to the emergence of the innovative high-tech Silicon Valley.

Graphic designers will appreciate the psychedelic works of Victor Moscoso and Rick Griffin of the ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’ movement and the retro zines from Wired, Beach Culture and Thrasher. While tech-gurus will respect the infographics explaining the ‘Silicon Valley Startup Ecosystem’ to charting how the Black Lives Matter movement developed from a personal Facebook post, to a hashtag and then to a real-life protest.

Using tools of ‘personal liberation’, California’s progressive approach to innovative design and forward-thinking technology has shaped our lives and, in certain ways, made us all Californians at heart.

California: Designing Freedom runs until the 15th October at London’s Design Museum.