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California Dreaming: Making Space from Silicon Valley

California Dreaming: Making Space from Silicon Valley

The “California: Designing Freedom” exhibition is at London's Design Museum until 17th October . A thought provoking collection of key design and culture moments from the utopian dreams of hippiedom to the all-consuming digital age of today which were designed to harness a new spirit of freedom by making space for people to become better connected. Here is a selection of our faves...

Sister Corita Kent and Emory Douglas of the Black Panthers created a series of politically charged posters encouraging people to rise-up and make space within their local communities by promoting free speech and civil rights for African Americans. 

Top: LSD blotting paper with acid a popular gateway to alternate realities and expanding consciousness in 1960’s California
Centre: The City of San Francisco Oracle no.7, depicting LSD pioneer Timothy Leary, poets Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder and the Zen philosopher Alan Watts. 
Bottom: ‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’ counterculture music posters of Victor Moscoso and Rick

Created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, the original eight-colour Rainbow Flag, designed for the San Francisco Pride Parade.  The original 8 colours meaning: pink (sexuality), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), turquoise (art), indigo (harmony) and violet (human spirit).  

Photos from Pacific High School, an experimental live-in learning community located in Santa Cruz ran by students where they occupied these geometric domed spaces as part of their studies.  

Wired magazine, 1997

 “..It’s Freedom”...


Sketches for Apple Macintosh icons, Susan Kare 1982 with each square of graph paper to represent a pixel on a screen

Making space for entrepreneurial dreams; the 4 garages that changed the world as we knew it; Walt Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Apple and Google.  


A series of posters made by Facebook employees. We love:

  1. Why Haven’t We Seen the Whole World Connected Yet? Scott Boms, 2016
  2. Slow Down and Fix Your Shit by Jez Burrows, 2014
  3. We Shape Our Tools (and in they in turn shape us) by Tim Belonax, 2014


So with our world rapidly changing and becoming increasingly dependent on digital tools, perhaps it’s important to be more mindful of the present.  Instead of turning on our laptops, tuning into Netflix, perhaps we should drop out from time to time and make some space for the here-and-now.   Digital free zones where we connect face-to-face as humans or find our own zen moment right here in the now.  Pop the kettle on, try our fragrant and relaxing blend of Lavender, Rose, Chamomile and watch the whole herbs brew and just be.


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