Designing Freedom

An afternoon at the Design Museum’s new exhibit

What are you doing this weekend?”

This question, a necessary staple of office conversation, has become my weekly reminder that lately, I’ve been a bit of a fun-sponge. My answer is, inevitably, ‘writing an essay’ or ‘studying for an exam’. It’s been crunch-time for me in terms of course deadlines, so when I’ve not been in the office, I’ve been in the library. I’ve never been more educated and less entertaining. All my chat is about dual process models of persuasion or linear regression.

So, I am thrilled to report that this weekend I have DONE SOMETHING. And that something was visiting the Design Museum (at last) to see its newest exhibit California: Designing Freedom.

And a power-up it was too. The exhibition, which explores how California became such a force in contemporary design, takes visitors on a journey through political protest, LSD culture, skateboarding, motorcycles, Blade Runner, Palm Pilots, Apple domination, the rise of the start-up, maker culture, design thinking, driverless cars, and tech domination in Silicon Valley.

It reminded me about the joy and importance of creating things for a reason that’s not just ‘because I’m on a deadline’. It was invigorating to look at things just because they were interesting, not because they might be useful in my studies, or in my day job. You may not need reminding of these things yourself, but if you have a free afternoon in the coming months, you could do worse than getting yourself a ticket to California too.