the mod fix at Modernism Week 2011

Palm Springs is what some consider to be the mecca of Mid Century Design and is known for having the largest concentration of Mid Century architecture in the country.  After World War II, the area began to witness extensive growth as many of the neighboring ‘well to do’ residents of Los Angeles along with the Hollywood elite began flocking to  this desert playground in search of a retreat from their urban enclaves.  At the time, pioneering architects believed that modern design would be the perfect complement to the desert terrain and convinced their celebrity clients to follow suit. 

“Since the 1920’s, visionary modernist architects have designed sleek, modern homes that have embraced the desert environment. The dramatic geographic surroundings of the Coachella Valley inspired a design aesthetic in the middle of the 20th Century now called Desert Modernism.”

Understandably, on the eve of our launch, the mod fix couldn’t resist trading in the gray skies and incessant drizzle of the Pacific Northwest for the sun and fun of Southern California for this year’s annual Modernism Week in Palm Springs .  The event showcased an extensive schedule of activities, which included several tours of famous and celebrity homes, an inspired lecture series at the beautiful Palm Springs Riviera, fun retro themed parties, and a series of a films showcasing the work of several of the era’s notable designers from Lucienne & Robin Day to William Krisel.

 “Modernism Week, the only such event in the country, is an exciting 9-day celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture and culture. This design aesthetic, originated in the 1950s and 60s, was typified by clean, simple lines and celebrated elegant informality which came to define desert modernism.”

As if the plethora of independent shops and galleries showcasing Mid Century furniture and artwork wasn’t enough to send us into a dizzying frenzy, it was hard to resist the urge to break out the pocket book at the 11th Annual PS Modernism Show held by The Palm Springs Modernism Committee  at the Palm Springs Convention Center where dealers from around the country gathered to showcase their unique items for sale. 

We even managed to find our own little gem as we traveled off the beaten path to explore one of the first Mid Century Modern neighborhoods ‘Las Palmas’ to find this stunning Alexander home having an open house tour. 


For any Mid Century enthusiast or aficionado of modern architecture, I highly recommend heading to this desert oasis to catch a glimpse of an era past; a simpler time when innovative and fresh ideas, accompanied by a spirit of optimism and intrigue, shaped a desert landscape and motivated generations of designers for years to come. 

All in all, Modernism Week was filled with enough envy, inspiration, and eye candy to last a life time.  But thankfully Modernism Week is an annual event, and the mod fix is already gearing up for next year’s activities. 

-the mod fix