Design Classics of the Future

Exhibit at the Museum of Craft and Design focuses on innovative West Coast work
Design Classics of the Future
Two pieces from the exhibit: Daniel Hopper's 'Community Chandelier' (left) and Ray Salas' 'The Purple Gen Chair' (right).
(photos: courtesy Museum of Craft and Design)

Museums are best known for taking stock of the past, celebrating such classic designs as the curved plywood-and-leather Eames lounge chair or the biomorphic Noguchi coffee table.

The exhibit 'New West Coast Design 2,' October 26 to January 5 at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, sets its sights instead on the future, showing the work of 60 designers who may do for the 21st century what Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi did for the 20th.

"We're asking the question: who among these people is going to create the iconic works of art in this period of time?" says Kathleen Hanna, co-curator with Ted Cohen. Who will create "pieces people are familiar with, pieces they all know, pieces that are in the design magazines and in homes."

Will it be Jennifer Anderson, who "has invented a chair which looks like a pile of lumber but is actually a seating arrangement," Hanna says. Or John Liston, whose Halo Lamp of brass, cast glass, and LEDs is "a beautiful object."

On display will be a skateboard made of recycled skateboards and a bicycle that folds into a suitcase, Hanna says. Recycling is popular with many designers in the show, as is the use of inexpensive materials. Otherwise, it's hard to generalize about the work.

"There are so many different approaches," Hanna says. For more on 'New West Coast Design 2,' click here.