Technology and society are in constant development and that is immensely reflected on the design field, which must always be conscious of its surroundings. And that’s precisely what the exhibition Designed in California focuses on: from the first Apple Macintosh to the recently invented drones, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present the most groundbreaking designs born in the sunbathed state from the 1960s to today. Inaugurating on January 27 and on view until May 27, don’t miss the chance to discover how design has changed your life despite you not noticing it.
The exhibition will feature more than twenty artists and designers – including Ray and Charles Eames, Harmut Esslinger, and Lisa Krohn, amongst others – that traced the history of design since the digital revolution. Design never works alone, and in order to be reliable and to have an impact in society, it has to be necessarily connected to all other fields, from human and social issues to ecology, politics and technology – especially the latter, since it’s turning modern consumers into digital users, changing the paradigm of (almost) everything.

A poster by Sheila Levrant de Brettville for the California Institute of the Arts exhibited states that “If the designer is to make a deliberate contribution to society, he must be able to integrate all he can learn about behavior and resources, ecology and human needs; taste and style just aren’t enough”, which pretty much sums it up. Together with it you’ll find the Solo Drone by Jason Short, a North Face tent that empowered the individual, and Arthur Espenet Carpenter’s Wishbone Chair.
Designed in California inaugurates on January 27 and will be on view until May 27 at SFMOMA, 151 Third Street, San Francisco.
Sheila Levrant De Bretteville Taste and Style Just Aren’t Enough.jpg
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Taste and Style Just Aren’t Enough, 1970; courtesy the designer and Walker Art Center. Photo: Gene Pittman.
Arthur Espenet Carpenter Wishbone Chair.jpg
Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Wishbone chair, 1970; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund purchase. Photo: Katherine Du Tiel.
Charles and Ray Eames Eames Conference Room.jpg
Charles and Ray Eames, Eames Office conference room, 1944–89; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Architecture and Design Forum Fund and Accessions Committee Fund purchase. Photo: Tom Bonner.
Hartmut Esslinger Prototype for Apple Macintosh Touch Screen Tablet.jpg
Hartmut Esslinger, Prototype for Apple Macintosh touch-screen tablet, 1984; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the designer. Photo: Katherine Du Tiel.
Edith Heath Studio Mug From the Coupe Line.jpg
Edith Heath, Studio mug from the Coupe line, ca. 1950; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Heath Ceramics. Photo: Katherine Du Tiel.
Susan Kare Sketch for Graphic User Interface for General Magic.jpg
Susan Kare, Sketch for graphic user interface for General Magic, c. 1992; courtesy the designer.
Lisa Krohn Cyberdesk.jpg
Lisa Krohn, Cyberdesk, 1993; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the artist. Photo: Ian Reeves and Katherine Du Tiel.
Jason Short Solo Drone.jpg
Jason Short, Solo drone, 2015; courtesy 3D Robotics. Photo: Giulio Sciorio.
The North Face Oval Intention Tent.jpg
The North Face, Oval Intention tent, 1976; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Martin Zemitis / SlingFin, Inc. Photo: Don Ross.