Free Play

Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara

May 21-August 20, 2017

“Be open to whatever comes next.”

John Cage

Amidst a fever of global change, the twenty-first century has produced a movement in design that resists conforming to technological, environmental and economic pressures. The resulting works find meaning in inefficiency, purpose in reverie; they tease and engage theatrics; are chaotic, critical and imaginative, posing fictions rather than facts. What connects them is a spirit of play, which transcends the ordered systems of design to articulate a sense of abandon.

Free Play examines the emergence of play in this century as an irrepressible mechanism of invention and catharsis. The exhibition presents furniture, architecture and objects from an international selection of designers such as Elin Aasheim, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Thomas Heatherwick, Study O’Portable, and Katie Stout. Calling upon craft, narrative and technology, the works in Free Play appropriate childhood motifs, employ satire, generate form through chance, and upend function to cut through the banality of the everyday. Together, these ludic expressions celebrate a provocative illogic, ultimately revealing the fundamentality of play in the creation of culture.

Elin Aasheim, Tanya Aguiñiga, Maarten Baas, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Karen Chekerdjian, Front, Rhys Gaetano, Jimenez Lai, June14 and Arno Brandlhuber, Bureau Spectacular, Max Lamb, Gean Moreno & Ernesto Oroza, Philippe Malouin, Fredrik Paulsen, Pinar&Viola, Soft Baroque, Snarkitecture, Katie Stout, Study O Portable, and Aaron Young

Image Courtesy of Injinash Unshin