San Francisco, CA. March 2018 – The Museum of Craft and Design presents Raw Design, a group exhibition curated by Glenn Adamson, curator, theorist and formerly Director of Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Opening on June 2, 2018, Raw Design will offer visitors an opportunity to explore contemporary design in its most fundamental condition.
Raw Design features today’s cutting-edge talents, in addition to established figures who anticipated contemporary concerns in the late 1960s, such as Gaetano Pesce. One element all of the artists presented in Raw Design have in common is a certain no-nonsense stance. At a time in history when spin threatens to overwhelm us, this show offers another way – an alternative to “alternative facts.” In the process, hopefully, it demonstrates that palpable physicality is by no means obsolete as a creative force. Most of all, this project aims to present contemporary design in its most fundamental condition – as material intervention –so that it can be seen more clearly.
Raw Design marks an interesting moment in the history of technique. Rather than turning to long-established, complex repertoires like those of wood joinery and glass blowing, designers seem to prefer inventing new techniques, or else act as if their medium were being discovered for the first time. The attitude is mirrored in institutions, too: even as universities and art schools are demolishing their previously rigid disciplinary structures, and adding courses in such open-ended subjects as “social practice,” they are also investing in materials libraries available to all students (the Bay Area’s California College of the Arts is one example of this duality).
“At its best, Raw Design is not just an opposition movement or a symbolic, escapist gesture. It is a pragmatic investigation into new modes of working, often finding inspiration from science, though typically carried out in a self-reliant, DIY spirit,” states Adamson.
Brad Evan Taylor
Glenn Adamson is a curator and theorist who works across the fields of design, craft and contemporary art. He was until March 2016 the Director of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. He has previously been Head of Research at the V&A, and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. His publications include Art in the Making (2016, co-authored with Julia Bryan Wilson); Invention of Craft (2013); Postmodernism: Style and Subversion (2011); The Craft Reader (2010); and Thinking Through Craft (2007).