Enhancing the teaching and research activities of the Department of Design, the UC Davis Design Museum explores how design shapes, improves and makes economically viable the objects, technology and environments we use, inhabit and experience every day.
The UC Davis Design Museum is a founding adopter of the Green Museums Accord. The Accord is a set of five principles that propel museums to become environmental leaders, and is administered by the California Association of Museums and the Green Museums Initiative.
The exhibition is a historical survey of baby rattles that symbolize how design responds to sociocultural changes, and represents a chronology of design style, function and materials. The baby rattles are from the collection of Lu and Maynard Lyndon.
One of the earliest toys devised for children, baby rattles over the centuries have evolved into a variety of shapes made from many materials. We began collecting in 1967. What fascinates us is the seemingly infinite number of forms that people in many cultures have used to produce an object to amuse a child, make a sound, be nice to touch and hold in a small hand that reaches out to explore and grasp. Shaken, the rattle makes perhaps a tinny sound of a bell or perhaps a softer sound of seeds inside. In any case, what results is a smile or maybe a giggle and probably soothed tears—a universal experience. We’ve had great pleasure searching and finding these gems one by one, and now we’re sharing them with you.