James Hubbell: Architecture of Jubilation will be showing concurrently at four library locations until August 4. 2024, as part of World Capital San Diego Tijuana, 2024

by Marianne Gerdes

Photos by Katie Gardner

When news arrived that San Diego and Tijuana would be the first binational designation in World Design Capital program history, Ilan-Lael jumped at the opportunity “to help discuss and shape the future of our region through the power of design.”

Yet at first many — even those of us who had worked on James Hubbell projects in both San Diego and Tijuana for decades — asked, “What is World Design Capital (WDC)?” One word will start the discussion: prestigious!

Prestigious if your organization is
invited to participate.

Prestigious if your organization is dubbed to play a major role in the launch of World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024,
as we have done in partnership with San
Diego’s Public Library system.

Prestigious if your work is considered worthy of WDC’s mandate to showcase our region as “a global hub for design, innovation, arts, and culture [to] foster
lasting economic, social, cultural, civic,
and environmental impact.”

That’s the power of design!

We chose one of James’ favorite mantras as the exhibitions’ overall theme: architecture should be an act of jubilation. We celebrate James’s lifelong work in fine art, architecture, community building, and international relations at four locations: the Central Library, and branch libraries in Otay Mesa, Mission Valley, and Scripps Miramar. We suggest you visit the largest exhibition in the Central Library first, and from there “branch out.”

We are grateful to the WDC and San Diego library system for this opportunity, and feel that these four exhibitions come closest to telling the remarkable story of James Hubbell, the Ilan-Lael Foundation, and our entire region’s ongoing awakening to the power of design.

Touring the Exhibits

Now through August 4, 2024. Open during normal hours at each branch. www.sandiego.gov/public-library/visualarts

Central Library and its rooftop gallery showcases James Hubbell: Architecture
of Jubilation,
his life and work in the largest of Hubbell’s four exhibitions.SD Central Library,9th Floor Gallery, 330 Park Blvd.
San Diego 92101; (619) 236-5800.

Scripps Miramar Ranch Library features Hubbell Mountain Home & Studios near Julian—his source of creativity—where thousands make the pilgrimage to Ilan-Lael to walk the tranquil naturescape and marvel at Hubbell’s architecture.10301 Scripps Lake Drive, San Diego 92131; (858) 538-8158

Mission Valley Library tells the story of Pacific Rim Project: Hubbell’s vision that nations located on the Pacific Rim can find common ground through art. 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego 92108; (858) 573-5007

Otay Mesa-Nestor Library focuses on James Hubbell’s work in northern Baja California, working side by side — Lado a Lado — building a school in Tijuana, a Kumeyaay Museum in Tecate, and the sacred space Kuchumaa Passage, Hubbell’s first experiment in community-built art parks.3003 Coronado Ave., San Diego 92154; (619) 424-0474

Upcoming Events at the San Diego Central Library

April 22nd at 6pm Dave Hampton, author of San Diego’s Craft Revolution: From Post-War Modern to California Design, presents James Hubbell at Midcentury: His Early
Years in the San Diego Art Community.

May 21st at 6pm A talk by Keith York, Creator of Modern San Diego and author of The Sensuous Environment.

All photos of the Central Library main exhibit by Katie Gardener.


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