Architecture + Design

SFMOMA’s collection of architecture and design is focused on works that have transformed the collective cultural landscape.

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher
Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of
Architecture + Design


Design affects atmosphere, alters perception, and even changes behavior. SFMOMA’s Architecture + Design collection connects audiences with pivotal works of design that influence contemporary culture. It brings innovative architecture and design into focus, revealing its powerful ability to enlighten, and often transform, our experience of and response to our world.

Long before architecture and design were a focus of museum collecting, SFMOMA was participating in discussions about their influence on environment and behavior. Though the Architecture + Design department wasn’t officially formed until 1983, in 1940 SFMOMA featured the groundbreaking Telesis exhibition, which focused on urban issues and architecture and prompted the city of San Francisco to establish an office of planning. Since then, the collection has featured historical and contemporary works of architecture, furniture, product design, and graphic design, as well as works of art that address these design disciplines.

Preston Scott Cohen in collaboration with Cameron Wu, Wu House Project, Burson, California (detail), 2000; chromogenic print, 27 in. x 36 in. (68.58 cm x 91.44 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Preston Scott Cohen



Current Exhibitions

Model Behavior

Snøhetta’s First Concepts for SFMOMA

May 14, 2016–January 16, 2017

Upcoming Exhibition

Tomás Saraceno

Stillness in Motion—Cloud Cities

December 17, 2016–May 21, 2017