Exhibition

It’s Bugged:
Insects’ Role in Design
Jan. 8-April 22

A fascinating exploration of the creative relationship between people and insects, “It’s Bugged: Insects’ Role in Design” is a vibrant art and design installation which opens at the UC Davis Design Museum on Jan. 8. The exhibition runs through April 22.

The show explores the two sides of the relationship between people and insects. The first side shows how makers, designers, architects, and artists draw upon nature’s patterns to create beautiful and useful materials and structures, as well as examining the collaboration of humans and insects as producers of raw materials, such as harvested silk and red dye made from cochineals. The outcomes are useful for insects and for people alike, making the relationship complex and compelling.

“The inspiration we draw from the natural world is endless,” said Adrienne McGraw, exhibition curator. “The challenge in the exhibit was focusing our story to the links between insects and textiles and forms. We selected key pieces from UC Davis’ Joann C. Stabb Design Collection and works from collaborating artists, so the connection to insects could then be explored. Some of these relationships are centuries old, while other ways people are using insects and insect behavior is relatively new. What’s exciting to me is to think about all the new products, designs, and technologies that are still to come as people continue to be inspired by insects. And what better place to encourage that than a university setting where so much creative work is already going on?”

“I have worked with insect products for many years, said contributing artist and UC Davis professor emerita Ann Savageau. “For this exhibition, I created a trilogy of wall pieces made from hornet nest paper, and a set of sculptures made of wood etched into striking patterns by bark beetle larvae.” 

Several Department of Design faculty and students have their work featured in the exhibition, including Professor Emerita Ann Savageau and MFA student’s Alicia Decker, Cory Wolffs and Lauren Kelly. The exhibition includes objects from the JoAnn C. Stabb Design Collection, the Ann Savageau Collection, and in keeping with the Design Museum’s year of design/science, stunning insect specimens on loan from the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology. The exhibition has been guest curated by Adrienne McGraw who is the Executive Director of the Gateway Science Museum.

There will be an opening reception and presentation on Jan. 11 beginning at 6 p.m.

The Design Museum, part of the College of Letters and Science, is in Cruess Hall, Room 124. It is free and open weekdays noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays 2 to 4 p.m.

For more information about this exhibition, visit arts.ucdavis.edu/design-museum.

Click Visit the Design Museum for map and parking information.

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