What unites the Guthrie Theater, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products, and the game Twister (which 1960s critics dubbed as "sex in a box")? All of these have ties to Minnesota. On Tuesday, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis launched a website, Minnesota by Design, which champions more than 100 examples of design from the state.
The site's definition of design is broad, spanning 10 categories from architecture and graphic design to the more obscure food design. The Honeycrisp apple (the state apple), for instance, was "designed" at the University of Minnesota in the 1960s and released in 1991.
The entries can be explored by category, title, or on a map, and include the name of the designer, the client, the date, and a little story about the product. Andrew Blauvelt, senior curator at the Walker Art Center, acknowledged at a lecture Tuesday evening that many of the map's current examples are in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. But the site also features a form to nominate other examples for inclusion in the site.
Architecture is the least surprising category, since the design of buildings is so closely tied to place. The website calls out several Minnesota projects that were also recognized by ARCHITECT's Annual Design Review, including the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum by HGA Architects and Engineers and the U.S. Land Port of Entry in Warroad by Julie Snow Architects (today called Snow Kreilich Architects).