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C O L L A B O R A T I O N S UC MULTICAMPUS RESEARCH GROUP In California Architecture and Design


With support from the UC Humanities Network, three UC Davis design professors, Christina Cogdell,


James Housefield, and Simon Sadler, spearheaded a multicampus collaboration to address the question: is there a design history of California? California design is ripe for new study, said Housefield, and this UC-wide initiative is poised to lead the call for critical thinking about California’s design heritage and future. Sadler agreed: “California itself is a design. One way or an- other, every piece of it has been designed, planned, and even fought over. Even in its naturalness, there’s noth- ing natural about California.” The group highlights the strength of architecture and design studies to address


some of the major issues facing the state. In 2011-2012, a cohort of scholars from across the UC


system, including Berkeley, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz as well as California College of the Arts, joined Housefield, Sadler, and Principal Investigator Cogdell in meetings and other collaborative projects. In February 2012, two of the MRG participants hosted a session on “California Design After 1965” at the Col- lege Art Association meeting in Los Angeles; in March, a special design-themed issue of the new UC Press jour- nal BOOM: A Journal of California hit newstands; and in May, two other MRG members hosted a conference at UC Santa Barbara titled “Icon and Anonymity: What is California Architectural History?” With additional funding from the UC Humanities Network awarded for 2012-2013, the MRG will continue to work towards developing networks that can help the University of California system lead the way into the future. Despite all of the differences among the diverse regions of the state, as Sadler observed, “Californians are always try- ing to make a better future, and it takes a lot of design to sustain it.”


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