Browse Exhibits (3 total)

It’s on my Desk

Jacobs Blotter-1.jpg

The twelve blotters featured in this exhibit were created by Allan Jacobs during his six year tenure as Director of the San Francisco Department of City Planning. He had two fresh blotters each year on which he “doodled” while on the phone.  They illustrate, both literally and figuratively, issues on the desk of the Planning Director and thoughts generated by these issues.  These blotters also serve as valuable documents of their time and place and as a visual diary of ideas, issues, and politics as well as of personal matters. Titles in the exhibit were based on the content of the blotter.


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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