A Bigger, Better Modernism Week

Music and foodie events add to the 11-day celebration of midcentury design

Bob Bogard Modernism 0 Comments


Ten years ago, local modernism enthusiasts decided to create programming to coincide with the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, a February staple at Palm Springs Convention Center.

Today, the city touts Modernism Week as one of its signature events, stretching over 11 days (Feb. 12–22, 2015) and drawing tens of thousands of architecture and design buffs from around the globe. The program packs more than 180 events showcasing midcentury modern architecture, art, design, fashion, and culture and will generate about $17 million for area hotels, shops, and restaurants.

Many popular programs — home tours (bike and double-decker bus), garden tours, lectures, films, music, and a vintage travel trailer exhibition — return with some new ones in the next edition of Modernism Week. For the first time, the festival will have a central hub for attendees to gather. The 15,000-square-foot C.A.M.P. (Community and Meeting Place) will be a courtyard surrounded by joined tents and will serve as Modernism Week headquarters. Visitors can enjoy a variety of talks, films, and sustainable technology displays. A variety of live entertainment, including bands and DJs, will keep the place lively all week.

Designer Todd Oldham, known for his lighthearted approach to fashion and style, will speak from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 14. He designed The Hotel in South Beach in 1999 and is now adding an annex to his original design. Oldham’s television appearances (most notably in “Todd Time” segments on MTV’s House of Style in the 1990s, Fashionably Loud on MTV in 1999, and as a mentor to contestants on Bravo’s Top Design) propelled the charming and witty designer. During Modernism Week, he’ll tell the audience at a sold-out auditorium about his distinctive views on the importance of design.

Modernism Week’s gala will unfold at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion, the recently refurbished International Style structure designed as a bank in 1961 by E. Stewart Williams. It’s now the country’s first freestanding architecture and design museum housed in a historic modern building. It’s the newest attraction for visitors during the event.

Modernism Week has also joined forces with Goldenvoice, known for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (a.k.a. “Coachella”) and the Splash House pool parties. The partnership provides the event with more corporate sponsorships (including American Express), national and international marketing campaigns, event logistics, and production of special events.

Cultural tourism also factors into the programming at Modernism Week After Dark, nightly events at stylish hotels, music clubs, and other venues. The entertainment lineup features celebrity chef-curated private dinners in iconic homes, live bands at chic venues, and martini mixers and cocktail parties throughout the week.

Check the schedule and buy your tickets early; the events sell out quickly. Visit www.modernismweek.com for more information.



• 45,500 attendees in 2014

• 11 days of events

• $17 million in economic impact to the Coachella Valley

• 350+ unpaid media placements

• 282 million media impressions

• 4,900 social media posts

• 16,000+ viewers of the YouTube series Man About Modernism

• 225,694 visitors to www.modernismweek.com

• 2,500 people attended the Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine Modernism Week Show House: Christopher Kennedy Complex

• 87 percent attendees listed architecture tours as their primary interest

• $219,000 revenue generated from architectural tours

• 275 volunteers

• 84 percent attendees who came from outside the Coachella Valley

• 25 percent attendees who stayed two weeks or longer

• 93 percent attendees who dined out during Modernism Week

• 87 percent last year’s attendees who plan to come back this year

Sources: Secret Agent PR, O’Bayley Communications, web analytics, and various polls

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