Browse Exhibits (28 total)

Edith Heath: A Handful of Clay


The Legacy of Edith Heath

From just a handful of clay, ceramicist Edith Heath pioneered a design aesthetic that continues to inspire today and earned her the AIA Industrial Arts Medal in 1971 for the Heath tile on the Norton Simon Museum (formerly the Pasadena Art Museum). Her focus on simplicity, functionality, and durability blends the line between daily use and Sunday best and continues to have a lasting impact on the design community. Heath products, from tile to stoneware, have been recognized internationally for their quality and vision.

The exhibition explores her life as an artist and ceramicist, as well as her collaborations with architects. Materials come from the Environmental Design Archives, the Brian and Edith Heath Foundation, and Heath Ceramics.

Seasons Greetings


The development of three-dimensional creative thinking is rooted in the exploration of the two-dimensional visual arts. Designers don’t limit their creativity to buildings, landscapes and furniture. They often express their creativity through the foundational skills they developed early on in their design education: drawing, painting, photography, and graphic design. Though you may not have known, you should not be surprised to learn that many architects and landscape architects design their own stationery and personal greeting cards. Season’s Greetings showcases both personal and professional holiday greeting cards created by architects, landscape architects, and their firms.

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Off Hours


Environments for Entertainment

As Americans' leisure time has increased during the century, we have filled it with all manner of diversions.  This exhibit highlights the buildings and landscapes in which we seek respite from the stresses of daily life.  Grouped thematically as things to watch, play, eat and buy, the focus is on spaces sucha s theaters, restuarants, playgrounds, country clubs, stores and sports facilities.  Original sketches, photogrpahs, drawings and rare books are included in the material on display provided by the Enviornmental Design Archives, Visual Resources Center, and Environmental Design Library.

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Julia Morgan: Hidden Engineer

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The Designs of Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan was a pioneer throughout her professional life.  The first woman to enter and complete an education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, she later designed Hearst Castle, and left more than 700 buildings throughout California and the West.  Among other reasons, she is notable for having designed so many women-commissioned projects.  This exhibit is mounted in conjunction with the Landmarks California Commission's Julia Morgan 2012 celebration, and re-examines some of Julia Morgan's most influential designs, using material from the Environmental Design Archives, Visual Resources Collection, and Environmental Design Library.

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Teaching Design With People in Mind: Social Factors at the College of Environmental Design


Exhibit dates: March 1 - May 20, 2016

The College of Environmental Design at U.C. Berkeley was the first in the U.S. to combine under one college the departments of architecture, landscape architecture and city planning, and to incorporate the concept of social and cultural factors into the curriculum of its architecture department. A product of the 1960s widespread protests of the “failure of the institution,” social factors in environmental design was a “response to a number of serious social problems as manifested in the physical design of our major institutions" (Lindheim, 1975).

The Social Factors program at Berkeley introduced social science methods to teach the design of buildings and environments more responsive to human needs. Previous curricula and teaching focused on the aesthetic and technical aspects of architecture and landscape architecture.

This exhibit explores the innovative approaches to design education that allowed students to translate socio-cultural values into physical forms. While highlighting the fertile years of the Social Factors program in the 1960s-1980s, the exhibit also conveys its long-term impact on scholars, designers, and students at (and beyond) Berkeley today.


Lindheim, Roz.  (1975).  Introduction.  In Social and Behavioral Factors in Architectural Education: Evaluation of a Training Program.  Berkeley, CA: College of Environmental Design.  

Paper, Rock, Pixels


The exhibit Paper, Rock, Pixels revisits design projects after ten, twenty, fifty, or more years into their tenure as elements in the fabric of San Francisco. Drawings, plans, and models from the Environmental Design Archives are paired with contemporary photographs by curator and photographer Jason Miller of residences, institutional buildings, commercial structures, and landscapes to see how they have responded to use and time.

Form Follows: Design at a Smaller Scale


Throughout history designers have created furniture pieces as stand–alone objects, to compliment a building or space, or as an important step in the evolution of a much bigger design idea or technology.

Furniture design serves as a way to test ideas at a smaller scale and experiment with different methods and materials. It also brings into focus fundamental design challenges such as how a person will interact with the design, and what the physical and emotional impacts will be.

Form Follows showcases furniture designs from collections in the Environmental Design Archives as well as designs from students who participated in the form follows chair design competition in Spring 2016.

SIX degrees


With more than 200 collections documenting the work of most of the San Francisco Bay Region’s historically significant architects and landscape architects, the holdings of the Environmental Design Archives are incredibly interconnected. Many of these connections stem from key figures or firms whose practice involved mentoring or collaborating with other regional architects and landscape architects.

This exhibition applies the theory of six degrees of separation to the designers whose collections are held by the Environmental Design Archives. Spanning 118 years, from the 1898 International Competition for the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California to the present, SIX degrees showcases projects resulting from both personal and professional relationships.

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Designs from a Distance


Designing for a country not one’s own often results in projects that reflect the geo-political and economic factors at the time. Issues of diplomacy, colonialism, post-war reconstruction, new and old political allies, and resources such as rubber and petroleum and who manages them are only a few of the forces that compel the clients commissioning design projects. This exhibit features designs, landscapes, and planning projects on six continents by designers based in the San Francisco Bay Area and held by the Environmental Design Archives.

In some sense investigating “designing in foreign lands” is an exercise in following the money. Governments are the clients for embassies, developers contract commercial centers and resorts, businesses commission corporate facilities, and municipalities fund parks, schools, and master plans. International competitions also encourage designers to submit schemes for overseas projects. Other influential factors may be expertise in a particular building type such as Ernest Kump’s proficiency designing community colleges or clients requesting an architect or landscape architect from their home locale to design a project for them.

These projects, whether planning, landscape architecture, or architecture, both raise questions and provide insight.  Do they reflect cultural preferences? Do they engage local building materials and techniques?  Does plant selection reflect climate more accurately than building design, because it must?

Curator: Waverly Lowell
Exhibition Committee: Emily Vigor, Miguel Nieto, Esther MacKenzie, Chris Marino, Jason Miller

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Design and Diversity


This exhibit of original materials from the Environmental Design Archives showcases a nexus of design and diversity in a number of ways. One section reveals the diversity within CED’s history through photographs of students with their classmates, student publications and campus surveys; and examples of their work. One section addresses gender and power and investigates projects that women designers created for powerful men, organizations, and corporations. The largest section is intended to serve as inspiration by providing examples of significant work created by a diverse group of regional designers.

Curators: Chris Marino, Sabine Sträuli, Waverly Lowell
Exhibit Committee: Nicole Santiago, Emily Vigor, Jason Miller, Andrew Manuel

This exhibit has been funded by the ARCUS Endowment through the Diversity Platforms Committee of the College of Environmental Design

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