Designed in California
@ SF MoMA | Jan. 27–May 27, 2018
With an already planned trip scheduled for the end of January, I took Thursday and Friday off from my recently extended freelance contract to head up to SF in time for the opening night for SF MoMAs latest exhibit, Designed in California. I got to slowly wander through the crowded room alone fangirling to myself, admiring the displays and display boards that accompanied them with the fluorescent pink painted edges that matched the lettering at the exhibition entrance.
The exhibition hosted some of the more modern contributions that are familiar to many today, such as Google Material Design, IDEO, Heath Ceramics, CRISPR and Google Home Mini—to works seen in design history books by some of my personal favorites like Susan Kare, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Saul Bass, along with the obligatory display of the Whole Earth Catalog, and the avant garde design group, Ant Farm.
One of the things that fascinated me the most, aside from the Eames office conference room display and the list mentioned above, was The Complete Annotated Alice expanded book from The Voyager Company in 1992 (Voyager dissolved shortly after, in 1997 and The Criterion Collection is its successor). This is one specific area in which I somehow haven’t consciously stumbled across, but I’m very excited to learn more about expanded books soon. Another enjoyable piece was the introductory spreads for Wired magazine by Erik Adigard (M-A-D), which are so clearly '90s, but in the '90s they had their own exhibit.
Designed in California was a very small exhibit that was not nearly as great as the SF MoMAs 2016 work of art, Typeface to Interface—which made me never want to leave the 6th floor without hugging the walls and contemplating theft first, but it was still a great time capsule of different realms of design. However, I’m still haunted by the inclusion of the Snoo Robo Cradle with the demonstration video. For this, I selfishly wish it didn’t go past 2000.
I highly recommend seeing it if you get the chance, it’s open until May 27, 2018.