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California: Designing Freedom

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1960s California was the birthplace of a new, more liberal worldview: hippy counter-culture, gay rights, anti-war protests and hedonistic pursuits. But how have these ideas about freedom, which have since spread across the world, been shaped by Californian design over the past half a century?

Director of the Design Museum in London, Deyan Sudjic, tracks the influence of Californian design on global culture, from early hippies toting the Whole Earth Catalogue (a kind of printed Wikipedia), to the advent of freeways, open data and modern mobile technology. Sudjic charts how the allure of the Californian dream has been siphoned into desirable products, like the now ubiquitous iPhone, that define and expand our everyday world.

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Deyan Sudjic is Director of the Design Museum in London. His career has spanned journalism, teaching and writing. Deyan was director of Glasgow UK City of Architecture 1999 and in 2002 he was Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale. He was Editor of Domus Magazine from 2000 to 2004, and was Founding Editor of Blueprint Magazine from 1983 to 1996. Deyan has published many books on design and architecture, including The Edifice Complex (2006), The Language of Things (2008), Norman Foster: A Life in Architecture (2010), Shiro Kuramata (2013), B is for Bauhaus (2014) and Ettore Sottsass, the Poetry of Things (2015). His most recent book, The Language of Cities, was published by Penguin in October 2016. Deyan was made an OBE in 2000.

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