Design Radicals: Creativity & Protest

The shock wave of Berkeley’s 1964 Free Speech Movement reverberated within Wurster Hall, transforming the College of Environmental Design into a laboratory for experiments in counterculture art and politics. Students turned hallways and classrooms into impromptu print shops, producing anti-war posters now featured in graphic arts exhibitions and collected by museums from Oakland to Washington DC. Self-styled “Outlaw Builders” launched hands-on ventures in pedagogy, including a mobile lab for elementary school interventions, a communal settlement built from salvaged materials, and an early iteration of ecologically sustainable home technology. Through the rich holdings of the Environmental Design Archives and the social justice poster collection of Lincoln Cushing, the story of the innovative student and faculty enterprises of the early 1970s is told in the exhibition: Design Radicals: Creativity and Protest in Wurster Hall.


Curators: Greg Castillo and Kent Wilson. Assistant: Anthony Merrill. Exhibition design: Kent Wilson. Funding: The Joan E. Draper Architectural History Research Endowment Fund; The University of California Berkeley Committee on Research. We gratefully acknowlege Lincoln Cushing and Jim Campe for their loans of supplementary exhibition objects.