California: Designing Freedom Exhibition

When we think of the things we use, we don’t necessarily think where they come from. The California: Designing Freedom exhibition plans to change all that. At least in relation to California, its counterculture and its Silicon Valley tech culture. And everything in between.

The exhibition is currently at the Design Museum in London and it ends on the 17th of October 2017. The Museum is open daily between 10am and 6pm, so you still have time to attend this marvellous insight into Californian history.

The exhibition is spread out in a large room, and it’s divided in five sections. The centrepiece of the Go Where You Want section is a tie between the Easy Rider chopper replica and the Waymo self-driving car.

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However, soon after entering the room, I was drawn to the Say What You Want section, where Emory Douglas’ posters for the Black Panther movement were shown. The posters done by the Minister of Culture for the Black Panthers represent African-American struggles during the 1960s and 1970s. Next to these, the hand-stitched rainbow flag with its original eight stripes by Gilbert Baker is preserved behind glass, protecting an integral part of LGBTQ+ history.

And of course this exhibition features the first Mac computer. The Make What You Want area is full of old gadgets that paved the road for the technological advancements we keep in our pocket today.

The last section – Join Who You Want – celebrates diverse communities. From the real-life hippie community to online communities on Facebook, this section is all about communities formed around the same interests. A large area is dedicated to Sussman Prejza’s designs for the 1984 LA Olympic, and they’re so amazingly intricate that you could stare at them for hours on end.

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We strongly recommend you to go and find out all about these and the other sections – there’s still time until the 17th of October. Go forth and ride the wave of Californian innovation.

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