Modernism Week started in Palm Springs back in 2006 to raise awareness for the incredible archive of modernism. It’s now become a nonprofit to help reinforce preservation and to examine what role midcentury modern played in design. For the design world, it is the equivalent to New York Fashion Week. And here’s why you should attend.
What’s midcentury modern anyway?
The midcentury era lasted from 1933-1965. It’s a design movement stemming from the International Style and Bauhaus school of thought. These movements started after WWI and allowed the design movement to shift from traditional methods to more radical experimentation in all the arts, which had been suppressed by the old regime. The design was less fancy and more functional.
One of the main objectives of the Bauhaus was to unify art, craft, and technology making production easier and more affordable (and probably the reason why IKEA exists today).
Midcentury modern lingo I learned on the tour:
Swiss Miss is a home-style characterized by a steeply pitched gable that extends to the foundation.
Folded-Plate Roof is a roof with rafters placed at repetitive angles to create ridges and valleys.
Screen Block is a decorative block used to create a barrier through which light and air can pass.
Extended Flat Roof is a roof with joists that extended beyond the exterior wall (either cantilevered or supported on beams) to create a shaded area below.
Clerestory Window is a short window located at the top of a wall or a larger window.
Butterfly Roof is a roof with high points at the outside edges and a low point in the middle.
Brise Soleil is a fixed or moving device that blocks the direct sun.
The Cantilever is a structural element projecting beyond its support to create an overhang.
Tickets for Modernism Week for the Fall Preview October 18-21, 2018, go on sale August 1, 2018, at noon PST. Tickets for next year's Modernism Week February 14-24, 2019 will go on sale November 1, 2018, at noon PDT.
Art Palm Springs
Amongst going on tours and seeing beautiful homes during Modernism Week in Palm Springs, another event that took place was the Art Palm Springs, in the Palm Springs Convention Center. Art Palm Springs is a global art show representing 80 galleries from Asia, Europe, North and South America representing hundreds of artists to the Palm Springs Convention Center. Next year the show will take place February 15–17, 2019. Below are my top 3 favorite pieces from 2018.
"The rational mind constantly wants to be in charge. The other parts wants to fly. My painting is the encounter between the mind's necessity for control and its yearning to fly, to be free from our ever-conflicting skull."
Los Angeles, USA
"Born to be free"
"GLITCH TECHX 0-102317-0"
Palm Springs Modern Design Expo
The Palm Springs Modern Design Expo also took place in the Palm Springs Convention center, just a few steps away from the Art Palm Springs art show. Next year it will run the same week as Modernism Week from February 15–18, 2019. Below were my favorites that stood out. And what's Modernism Week if you don't have designer chairs?
Being in Palm Springs feels like you were transported to another place in time. It brings you into a fantasy world full of colors, history, heat and delight. Aside from its beautiful history in preserved architecture, it is filled with gems of art & design and, striking desert landscapes. Learning about design history makes me understand why we have the design products we use today. But most importantly why products are designed for function versus ornamentation.