Tuesday, August 22 , 2017, 9:42 pm | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Judy Foreman: MCASB Gets Playful with an Exhibition That’ll Change How You Think About Design

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara joins with designer Philippe Malouin, Belmond El Encanto for inaugural design lecture

Acclaimed London-based designer Philippe Malouin was the guest speaker for MCASB’s inaugural Architecture & Design Council Lecture held at the Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Acclaimed London-based designer Philippe Malouin was the guest speaker for MCASB’s inaugural Architecture & Design Council Lecture held at the Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara. (MCASB photo)

MCASB, one of Santa Barbara’s most dynamic and innovative cultural institutions, has new bragging rights.

Partnering with the Belmond El Encanto, the museum recently featured internationally recognized designer Philippe Malouin as the guest speaker for its inaugural Architecture & Design Council Lecture.

Malouin created a series of kinetic tables that were commissioned by MCASB for its “Free Play” exhibition. According to the museum, the tables are “a series made from 100 percent nylon, combining the formal and material purity of industrial design with the whimsy of play.”

Canadian-born but now London-based, Malouin has been honored with W Hotels’ Designer of the Future Award and a Wallpaper* Best Use of Material Award. Most recently, designboom and Abitare magazines awarded him The Design Prize in the Artistic Realm for 2017.

As part of the design collaboration, the Belmond El Encanto recently hosted Malouin for a luncheon discussion about his life and his techniques. The hotel even erected a pop-up studio in its Fireside Room for the occasion.

At an evening presentation, Malouin gave a dynamic overview of his design work and participated in a conversation led by art and design critic Janelle Zara. The event was followed by a dinner with MCASB’s upper level philanthropists hosted by executive director Mikki Garcia and museum board members.

Free Play, curated by design expert Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, brings contemporary furniture, architecture, artworks and artists to Santa Barbara.

According to Cunningham Cameron, the exhibit “centers around the idea of play as an influential actor in the design process, producing work which intimately reveals our drive toward novelty, upending traditional notions about the role of design in our lives.”

As the museum curatorial staff explained to Noozhawk, the Free Play exhibit capitalizes on the popularity of design culture around the world. It aims to initiate a dialogue around the blurred question of what comprises art in this day and age.

The Free Play exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara features the idea of play as an influential actor in the design process. The exhibit runs through Aug. 20. Click to view larger
The Free Play exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara features the idea of play as an influential actor in the design process. The exhibit runs through Aug. 20. (MCASB photo)

The Free Play exhibit is on display through Aug. 20 at the museum, on the second floor of Paseo Nuevo in downtown Santa Barbara.

Click here for more information about the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. Click here to make an online donation.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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