California Design: Living in a Modern Way at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was a major exhibition featuring California’s key role in shaping the material culture of mid-century America.
The installation is structured by a curvilinear, warped and ruled structure that is a contemporary incarnation of the design principles first given form in California half a Century ago, but designed and realized with digital tools and fabrication technology. Arrayed along the helical pathway, the installation is designed to reinforce the curatorial narrative as it leads the visitor on a revealing, smart journey through the history of California Design.
A rare opportunity to showcase the magnificent collection of crafts, folk art and found ephemera gathered by Charles and Ray Eames during a lifetime of enthusiastic travels, coincided with the exhibition schedule prompting the construction of a full-scale replica of the Eames House.
“...the scholarship that supports the show is the product of a five-year research effort, the exhibition itself, designed with noticeable joie de vivre by the architects Craig Hodgetts and Ming Fung, has an irresistibly light touch, offering a few dozen rays of sunshine for every drop of noir” - Christopher Hawthorne
Preservation standards for lighting various artifacts in close proximity to one another were achieved by a graded system of translucent foils and curving overhangs. This system provided a woven texture of shade and shadow according to specific preservation requirements. The resulting spaces gathered groups of costumes, furnishings and printed matter into micro-environments which refined and helped to focus the collection.
Digital fabrication by Lexington Design + Fabrication was responsible for accurately locating and shaping the tubular steel stringers forming the helical array in spite of the challenges of a geometry in which each element was poised at a different slope and was possessed of an individual length and angular disposition.