location: San Francisco, CA, USA

year: 2010

How Wine Became Modern was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and exhibited in the museum in 2010. It is the first exhibition to consider modern, global wine culture as an integrated and richly textured set of cultural phenomena through the lens of design. The exhibition, which explores developments in the visual and material culture of wine over the past three decades, offers a way of understanding the roles that architecture, graphic design, and industrial design have played in wine’s transformation to a cultural phenomenon. Exhibits of wine-related design – historical artifacts, design objects, examples of wine culture in popular media, label design, glassware design, and even models of vineyard-related architecture – are joined with newly commissioned artworks and multi-media presentations to reveal the commercial and global extent of modern wine culture.
These objects and commentaries, which also deeply probe concepts of viniculture and terroir (a theory of place, soil, climate), are combined with sensory installations: a slow drip of red wine falling from the ceiling, a “smell wall“ that allows visitors to inhale from flasks of wine, an installation of bottles showing how the addition of oak chips changes wine, and the roots and growth of an entire grape vine. How Wine Became Modern was created by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Henry Urbach, Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

type: exhibition design
location: San Francisco CA, USA
year: 2010
designers: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
text by DS+R
photos by Matthew Millman, Alexander Verhave