Overdrive: Los Angeles constructs the futuer 19490-1990

Exhibition Design


The design of the exhibition Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990 was the subject of a collaborative project between the Getty Museum and students at the Art Center College of Design.

Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990 by the Getty Museum, is an exhibition highlighting the developing history of Los Angeles, as a part of Pacific Standard Time exhibits.

Los Angeles from 1940 to 1990 was consistently building up and tearing down, embracing old and new, bringing unification within diversity.

Overdrive: LA highlights the booming era of Los Angeles and invites the visitors to be part of the rich layered history and unsettling patchwork of Los Angeles.

Considering the mobility of the exhibition, and the of fragile natures of the artifacts, our design uses standard display cases and light truss structures as supports.

Symbolizing the architects' worktables, and the laying history of Los Angeles, display cases are placed in horizontal fashion for a easier and more engaging viewing experience.

Top level display cases also serve as display shelves, with related artifacts displaying in lower cases near the model. Moreover the lower cases also create a barrier, eliminating acrylic enclosures on the architectural models. Vertical cases are also used for bigger artifacts.

Material panels are also used in between layers of the display cases to differentiate sections. Materials that relate to each section are picked to enhance the feeling of each section:

- Red car paint surface for Car Culture
- Concrete panels resembling construction for Urban Networks
- Vantage fabric used in sofa and carpet for Residential Fabrics
- Milky acrylic that signifies billboards for Community Magnets
- Silver paint used in space age installations for Engines of Innovation

As the visitors enter the exhibition hall, they will see the title wall made up of 3 panels, following by the display cases and timeline leading the visitors into the space.

Reflecting room displaying comments about Los Angeles form citizens, celebrities lived in the 1940 - 1990 period, also from curators, designers, and visitors. Visitors can submit their comments via the app and tablet the exhibition provide.

The graphic system contains 2 horizontal line echoing the Overdrive topic of the exhibit. Descriptions are printed onto the acrylic panels floating above the artifacts creating another layer.

Project in collaboration with:
Evan Liao
Angel Wang
Angela Chen
Ravit Bennier