For anyone who is an Apple product user, these words literally encapsulate the identity of Apple. Much like the magazine BOOM is suggesting, “what does it mean to be designed in California?” This can be said about any aspect of design in California. All to often we find ourselves in society buying products that are ubiquitously tagged “Made in China” or “Made in Taiwan.” So again what does it mean for something to be designed in California?
California has its own style, ideology that the world looks upon with gazing eyes. This is evident in the recent Developers Conference in San Francisco for the latest and greatest in Apple products.
Though Apple products are designed in California, they are not made here. Apple’s CEO Cook has expressed his desire to be less dependent on foreign products that piece together the eventual Apple products. Moving in the right direction. Hopefully “Designed in California” may eventually mean “Made in California.”
How does all this relate to architecture and landscape architecture you may ask? Well, its California’s founding fathers in those aformentioned fields that have built the ideology of California design.
Many have said that California is a “culture of connection” and the “hippiest of the states.” That’s probably an accurate assessment. We were the ones ahead of the curve from technology, industrial endeavors, development of the “military, shipbuilding, aerospace, computing, and entrepreneurial traditions.” This is because of the climate of California. Outdoor-living is synonymous with California, and its the great landscape architects and designers of the east coast in the mid 1950s that migrated west to California that instigated the state’s ideology in design.
“Bay Region of Northern California…found momentum first through the architecture and landscape architecture…of it’s Regional Style” developed in cognizant of the “Bay’s outdoor recreation industry.”
A great part of what is today’s Bay Area design style is due in large part to Stewart Brand. His creation of the Whole Earth Catalog starting in 1968 shows how the paradigm of design had greatly shifted to new, fresh, innovative concepts by integrating the nature into our everyday lives.
“Landscape architects of the Bay Region Style like Garrett Eckbo, Thomas Church and Lawrence Halprin were…influenced by the free yet unobtrusive expression of the terrain, the climate, the way of life on the coast.” Halprin brought this to life through his progressive new community development of Sea Ranch. This is the beginning of ecological design in the United States and around the world.
Being designed in California means, at least in an opinionated way, that creativeness here is at the forefront; the pinnacle of all others. Ultimately, we Californian’s will not rest until designed in California also means built in California, whatever aspect of design it may be.
All images sourced through links