Live Blog - AIA 2013 Spring Conference "Regional Modernism"

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    Day 2 - A whirlwind tour through modernism in the desert...

    Alvin Huang, AIA
    May 11, '13 10:08 PM EST

    Day 2 of the conference kicked off yesterday and I got to see what the conference is really about. It's actually pretty simple. It's about seeing, experiencing, and appreciating design through special access tours with a group of like- minded design savvy professionals. We got a chance to experience, rather than just see, some of the most important legacies of the entire spectrum of modernism to minimalism. We were given insights into the work by the architects, the owners, and the builders. But most of all we were able to experience this together as a collection of design professionals from a myriad of varied backgrounds and practices, but all with a focused interest on design. 

    Attack of the Architects!!

    What I personally found most striking about the projects we saw, and relevant to my own approach to design, was the level of spatial, formal, and material experimentation that was occurring during the birth of modernism. Architects like Albert Frey, Don Wexler, Richard Neutra, William Krisel and others in the desert were introducing concepts focused on free plans, inside/outside living, post and beam construction, and pre- fabrication.  Taken within the context of post-war America, the work they were producing was unlike anything that existed and came to define an entire generation of design.  They not only challenged the way we built, but the way we lived.  Clearly when we look at contemporary architecture their legacy lives on. 

    The Steel House by Donald Wexler

    The Steel House II by Donald Wexler

    On the set of Mad Men  or at the Will Krisel designed Twin Palms development?

    Getting a chance to hear Will Krisel share his insights, memories and advice throughout the event was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.  So much to learn...

    Krisels signature butterfly roof and twin palm trees...every house in the Twin Palms tract was identical in floor plan but there were six variations of elevation.

    Not only was the architecture great...the furnishings and decor were killer.  Original Saarinen, Jacobsen, and Eames, 

    Desert Minmalism at the home of architect Jim Jennings (if you notice the center beam of the canopy does not align with the CMU block it meets, that is one of two things in the entire house which did not align)

    A truly inside/oustide environment...

    Poolside at Desert One by Jim Jennings.

    Jim Jennings getting real about Desert One.

    We were also given a tour of the future home of the Palm Springs Architecture and Design Museum (to be designed by Marmol Radziner).

    Hollywood has movie stars on its walk of fame.  Palm Springs has architects, designers, and legendary photographers on its design walk of fame...

    Neutra in the Desert.

    Mid century modern living preserved...

    Embarking the "Ship of the Desert"...

    We ended the day with poolside cocktails at this William Cody designed home overlooking the Coachella Valley.  An inspiring view...

    • 1 Comment

    • This Tour looks awesome!

      May 23, 13 10:23 pm

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