Modernism Week 2017 Celebrate Architecture Design and more
It was a week filled with celebration, learning, entertainment, and excitement. For me it was a whirl of events, to experience exhilarating lectures, to connect with the past of modern design, to see everything that made Mid-Century Modern architecture and design so appealing, that we still long for its charm.
The CAMP location was the starting and ending point for the very popular Double Decker Bus Tours that remind us of past architecture and memorable design.
I feel uplifted, when I see the swoopy lines, the bright colors, the different materials of 60s Architecture. Somehow life in the early jet age in Palm Springs seemed so much more fun. The idea of progress and a vision of a different lifestyle still captures our emotion.
The days at Modernism Week were filled with familiar themes, lectures, films, and Home Tours. Several Garden Tours at different homes this year to highlight desert landscaping.
The Historical Neighborhood Walking Tours to familiar and new locations were all sold out. Tours of the Deepwell neighborhood, Vista Las Palmas, The Movie Colony, and of the ever popular Old Las Palmas area, were highlights, it was thrilling to be able to see the homes of the modern desert pioneers. I could feel why so many actors wanted to escape to the privacy and natural beauty of this place.
The days were filled with countless events, films, book presentations, Featured Designer Talks, cooking demonstrations at CAMP, (Connect And Meeting Place) for the day’s events.
Modernism with a Twist brought humor and fun into the CAMP Theater.
The Thermador & Ferguson Kitchen, Bath, Lighting space was stunning. Activities, Cook demonstrations, films, vignettes showcased new products for kitchen design while entertaining the crowds with cook shows and tasty bites.
The Palm Springs Art Museum, Annenberg Theater, was the venue for lectures about architects, modern living related talks, author presentations, books, questions and answers and many unexpected nostalgic feelings.
Slim Aarons “Poolside Gossip” the talk and film was one of those moments that conjure up a nostalgic feeling. We all wish we could have been there, at the pool, at those beautiful locations he photographed.
The Architecture and Design Center, just next to CAMP, was the location for a well deserved star dedication for architect John Lautner, who left us some of his most memorable designs here in the desert. ie, the Bob Hope home, the Lautner Hotel, the Elrod House, and others.
This year, I felt there was a conscious step into a new direction at Modernism Week. Modernism Week had a clear trajectory from the focus of the illustrious past into the architecture of Today.
We were able to see interpretations of Mid-Century Modern design elements that could be integrated into today’s lifestyle.
Several home tours did showcase new construction, modern homes that interpret the spirit of William Krisel, Donald Wexler, E. Stuart Williams, William F. Cody.
We were able to tour homes built Now, with lines and features from a modern past. Some of the homes were still in a construction phase, others were ready to be lived in.
The new Chino Canyon project, Desert Palisades, showed us the rediscovered design of an Al Beadle house, designed for another desert in Phoenix, but incarnated here in the hills of Palm Springs. The cantilevered cube seems to float at the hillside. The rounded lines of the Alfa Romeo add contrast to the square stark lines of the house.
Alfa Romeo was one of the sponsors of Modernism Week 2017.
The Lance O’ Donnell house, designed by architect Lance O Donnell, who has taken over the mantle from desert architect Donald Wexler, seems to set another design direction for the Chino Canyon homes, to be built in the next few years.
Lance O' Donnell embraces the modern lifestyle in the desert with 360 Degree views of stunning mountains and sunsets. The stark rectangular design creates a monolith in the desert canyon. Inside and outside seem to melt into one space. We can experience a space without boundary.
Of course, at the end of the day, there were many new and familiar locations for cocktails by the pool, magic under a starry sky.
Plenty of opportunity for cocktails and party, to channel the spirit of Frank Sinatra, the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Tiki –A-Go-Go at the Hawaiian Estates, a Celebrity home at Vista Las Palmas.
One of my favorite highlights of Modernism Week is the design collaboration that Christopher Kennedy puts together with a new Show Home every year.
His collaboration with interior designers, Ferguson Kitchen and Bath, and many others, vow us with a different theme each year.
This year, the home of Lifestyle Blogger and Palm Springs Ambassador, Kelly Lee, the Villa Golightly, in South Palm Springs, was the location for the Christopher Kennedy Show Home.
What a fabulous home it was. As if Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly came to Palm Springs. A dose of Hollywood Glamour, Whimsy, Textures, modern white marble, doors with bright Palm Springs sunshine colors. The joy this project exuded was evident in this collaboration of several designers.
Above all, it is an event to raise awareness and appreciation for the desert architects and projects of the past, to touch a certain nostalgic connection that reaches well into the future. It was such a whirlwind of events, colors, textures
Modernism Week Palm Springs was a visual firework full of exciting events, learning opportunities, a Show Case to inspire our own design projects.
The week went by so fast. When it was over, I felt design withdrawal symptoms, yet, I seem to understand more about Modernism now. The bright desert light seems to be the perfect foil for the pure lines and shapes of this architecture, as the shadows cast their own patterns on the walls.
More in my next posts.