A Slice Of California Cool At The Design Museum

California: Designing Freedom, Design Museum ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 84 months ago

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Last Updated 24 May 2017

A Slice Of California Cool At The Design Museum California: Designing Freedom, Design Museum 4
The Captain America motorcycle from Easy Rider and a driverless car. Past meets future of transport.

Did you get to this article via Facebook? Or maybe you're reading it right now on an iPhone? Facebook and Apple are two of the biggest companies in the world, and both originate from California. When the box of any Apple product states 'designed in California', it's a sign it's from one of the most innovative parts of the world.

Skateboards complete the California look.

The history of gaming is broadcast on a screen — from a match of Pong to footage from World of Warcraft. Atari started off in California, and it's home to modern gaming powerhouses like Blizzard. Gaming is everywhere now, but we remember when it was the refuge of nerdy children like us. This circles back to how the Californian approach to technology has made being nerdy or geeky something to aspire to.

Can't talk California without Apple and their IPhone.

Fitness trackers, virtual reality and GoPro are thrown into the mix too. All that before we even get on to the history of Apple — including old school Macintoshes and the first ever iPhone. It may only be 10 years old, but the speed of technology has dated it fast. This only proves the strength of innovation in California — this place refuses to be left behind.

A Shepard Fairey designed poster opposing the immigration ban.

But the Golden State's forward thinking hasn't just been through technology.

We see how posters promoted equal opportunities for black and LGBT people. There is a recording of Mario Savio's powerful statement on freedom of speech — listening to it send chills down the spine. California: Designing Freedom touches on recent events too; a Shepard Fairey designed image of a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf made from the American flag was used to oppose the recent immigration ban in the US.

The show gets a thumbs up from us... or should that be a 'like'?

California: Designing Freedom at Design Museum, until 15 October. Tickets are £16 for adults.