Symposium And Exhibition Highlights Michigan’s Role In American Modernism

LANSING, Mich., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — People interested in Modern design have one week left to register for Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, a four-day symposium at Cranbrook that will bring together national experts to talk about Michigan‘s major role in the development of American Modernism.

Michigan was the epicenter of Modern design during the mid-twentieth century and influenced Modern design throughout the world. Michigan‘s design industry shaped the American Dream and brought good design to the masses.

Here’s what registrants will get out of the symposium:

  • Hear stories directly from designers that were part of Michigan‘s mid-century design boom, such as Gunnar Birkets and Ruth Adler Schnee.
  • The location within the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills serves to heighten the experience, as Cranbrook is at the heart of the Michigan Modern story.
  • Thirty speakers in all will discuss Modernism’s Michigan roots during the symposium, including architecture critic and historian Alan Hess; Paul Makovsky, editorial director of Metropolis Magazine; Eames Demetrios, the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames; and Columbia University Professor and PBS History Detective Gwendolyn Wright.
  • Tours of significant sites also are part of the symposium schedule, including: a rarely offered tour of the General Motors Technical Center, designed by Eero Saarinen; the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Palmer House in Ann Arbor; the Wayne State University campus, planned by Minoru Yamasaki; and Lafayette Park, the largest collection of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s International style residential work in the world. A tour of Midland is also offered, including the Dow Home and Studio.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear about architects and designers like Minoru Yamasaki, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames, among others, and the relationships that existed between the designers, auto and furniture manufacturers, and Michigan educational institutions like the University of Michigan School of Architecture and Cranbrook Educational Community. The symposium also offers participants the opportunity to tour some of Michigan‘s modern resources, including a rare opportunity to tour the General Motors Technical Center, designed by Eero Saarinen.

A companion exhibition, Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America opens to the public at Cranbrook Art Museum in on June 14.