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Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Architecture and Design Collection at UC Santa Barbara

60th anniversary of Architecture and Design Collection

The AD&A Museum has prepared a year-long program of exhibitions and events for 2023 to mark the ADC's 60th anniversary.

The Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A Museum) at the University of California, Santa Barbara is commemorating the 60th anniversary of its Architecture and Design Collection (ADC). The collection, which was founded in 1963 by David Gebhard, a famous architectural historian and the first director of the AD&A Museum, comprises the archives of over 290 architects, landscape architects, industrial and graphic designers. The ADC is an invaluable resource for researching Southern California’s built environment from the late 1800s to the present.

To commemorate the anniversary, the AD&A Museum has organized a year-long series of exhibitions and events that will run through 2023. The displays will begin with a public welcome on February 25 and will run until May 7, 2023. The program includes many exhibitions, including Genius Loci: Domesticity and Identity in Southern California, which highlights ten single-family home designs from the ADC that demonstrate the region’s architectural production’s inventiveness and invention during the twentieth century. The exhibition explores how the designs respond to the distinct conditions of their respective settings, producing a strong feeling of place.

Another exhibition is Christopher Suarez: ESPRITUTUAL, the artist’s first museum exhibition. Suarez’s ceramic sculptures investigate the interaction between communities and their built environment, with a focus on the strip mall, a traditional architectural style in Southern California. Suarez recreates his personal recollections of growing up in Long Beach, California, in the show by reproducing seemingly commonplace places and settings that are significant cultural and personal sites in his neighborhood.

In the fall of 2023, the AD&A Museum will also display From Within: The Architecture of Helena Arahuete, the Argentinian architect’s first retrospective. Arahuete’s work is inspired by the efficiency and beauty of nature, and the exhibition will highlight her bold household and commercial constructions that bring organic architecture concepts into the twenty-first century.

The program also includes several events, such as Firooz Zahedi and Lorie Porter’s in-person conversation about their recent book Montecito Style on March 16. On March 23, the online artist panel ESPÍRITUTECTUAL: Ana Serrano and Christopher Suarez in conversation with rafa esparza will explore the unique urban architecture of Latino neighborhoods in Southern California. The UCSB Department of Art Visiting Artist Colloquium with Christopher Suarez on April 13 will be an in-person artist talk. On April 20, Brenda Levin will present an in-person lecture on “Preservation, Renovation and Adaptive Reuse in the Cultural and Civic Realms.” Finally, Steven Price’s online lecture, “Modern Antiquity: John Elgin Woolf’s Cause and Effects,” will take place on May 4.

The program is planned to draw a wide spectrum of visitors and provide a chance for the public to learn more about Southern California’s rich architectural and design history.

AD&A Museum
University of California, Santa Barbara
552 University Rd
93106 Santa Barbara CA
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