If design gives shape to the hopes and anxieties characteristic of each generation, what would the work from the so-called ‘Generation X’ reflect? This was the challenge set by Friedman Benda Gallery, New York, for a survey exhibition of design.
As a moniker for an entire cohort born between the mid-1960s and early-1980s, Douglas Coupland’s 1991 book title was co-opted by marketers and sociologists to suggest a generation of apathetic slackers, slouching between ‘McJobs’ with as little engagement and as much ennui as they could muster. Yet these listless tales are in conflict with the energy, exchange and alliances witnessed in emergent design at the time. An Accelerated Culture (itself, an unauthorized co-option of Coupland’s subtitle) questions the stereotype through a survey of selected designers who came of age around the same time as their fictional counterparts, yet who have been relentlessly redefining the possibilities for design ever since.
Curation by Libby Sellers and Brent Dzekciorius
Exhibition graphics Studio Frith
May 3, 2019