Free Play

Exhibition, MCASB, Santa Barbara (CA), US.


From May 21, 2017 until August 20, 2017

The exhibition Free Play brings together contemporary furniture, architecture, art and objects from an international selection of designers, architects, and artists.

It centres on the idea of play as an influential actor in the design process, producing work that intimately reveals our drive toward novelty, upending traditional notions about the role of design in our lives. Each creator shares an alternate view of the world through objects that appropriate childhood motifs, employ satire, and generate form through chance. This sense of freedom results in works that are wonderfully illogical, whimsical, and poignant. A collection of objects and architecture that stand apart from the contemporary world’s increasing movement toward efficiency and automation, these works share daydreams, jokes and stories. Says curator Alexandra Cunningham Cameron:
“Free Play is a collection of objects and architecture which stand apart from the contemporary world’s increasing movement toward efficiency and automation. These works share daydreams, jokes and stories. They pursue pleasure. We study material culture to better understand the trajectory of civilizations. Free Play suggests how looking at the products of play rather than necessity reveals more about how we got here and where we’re going.”
The exhibition design, by Berlin-based Sam Chermayeff Office, is a labyrinth of personal moments and stories.
The impressive lineup includes the likes of Maarten Baas, Design Miami’s 2009 Designer of the Year; Nendo, named Designer of the Year by Wallpaper Magazine, Elle Decor and Maison & Objet in 2015; LA-based Jimenez Lai, founder of Bureau Spectacular; and Snarkitecture, whose installation piece The Beach has been touring globally since 2015.
Katie Stout, the 2015 winner of HGTV’s show Ellen’s Design Challenge and who was recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, will also show a work specifically commissioned for Free Play.