Join Mr. Modernism George Smart and crew as they talk and laugh with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world. USModernist Radio is backed by the nonprofit educational archive USModernist, the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential architecture in America. www.usmodernist.org
#251/Edith Farnsworth, The Real Story: Nora Wendl + Alice Friedman
39:53Here’s the story…of a lovely lady….who hired a world-famous architect to design a small but spectacular house in Plano, Illinois, along the Fox River. Things didn’t work out so well, and unfortunately Dr. Edith Farnsworth’s story has been told largely from the perspective of that world-famous architect. Joining us today to share Edith’s story, and what happened to the house, are professors Nora Wendl and Alice Friedman.
#250/Dogs, Motels, and Tiki: Nancy Baron + Heather David + Sven Kirsten + Reading by Anthony Poon
57:23What could be more fun than Modernist dogs, tiki culture, and mid-century modern motels? George and Tom talk with the author of Palm Springs Modern Dogs at Home, Nancy Baron, motels with Heather David, author of Motel California, and dive into Tiki culture with Sven Kirsten, author of the Book of Tiki. Later on, reading from his latest novel, Death by Design at Alcatraz, Anthony Poon.
#249/Architect Myron Goldfinger + Musical Guest Victoria Vox
48:53Auric Goldfinger was one of most memorable evil villains in the James Bond 007 series. Played by Gert Frobe in the 1964 movie named for him, Goldfinger, this criminal mastermind created a scheme to corner the gold market by exploding a radioactive bomb over Fort Knox, the US gold supply housed in Kentucky. That was back when the nation’s debt was a mere $311 billion and was backed by this gold, kinda like putting up your house as collateral for a loan. Goldfinger’s plan to make the gold radioactive, and therefore inaccessible, would make his own gold ten times more valuable. Bond foils this brilliant plan and lives to have some of his well-loved martinis by the time the movie ends. A few years later in real life there will be another villain, President Nixon, who said "hey, we’re not going to put up our gold any more as collateral," and whoo-doggies we’ve uber-borrowed our unsecured selves all the way up to $29 trillion dollars, more if you count unfunded Medicare and Social Security. Even James Bond cannot save us now. Goldfinger remains one of the most famous names in film, and joining us today is, like James Bond, the suave and sophisticated architect Myron Goldfinger, a classic name in mid-century Modernism, who’s experiencing a new following in his 80’s. Later on, special music with Victoria Vox.
#248/Modernism Week 2022: Angie Brooks + Larry Scarpa + Bruce Becker + Reading by Anthony Poon
53:09In our 3rd show from Modernism Week 2022, we chat with award-winning architects Angie Brooks and Larry Scarpa; learn from Bruce Becker about the newly renovated Hotel Marcel in New Haven CT, formerly the Pirelli building designed by Marcel Breuer, and formerly a billboard for IKEA! Later on, reading from his latest novel, Death by Design at Alcatraz, Anthony Poon.
#247/Designer Dakota Jackson + Musical Guest Krisanthi Pappas
51:20Some architects in the early days of Modernism designed their own furniture, among them Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra. Today, with a few exceptions, Modernist architects stay out of the furniture biz and rely on talented people like today’s guest, legendary furniture designer Dakota Jackson. Later on, a little slow dancing with musical guest Krisanthi Pappas.
#246/Monterey + Bakersfield: Pierluigi Serraino + David Coffey + Anthony Poon
59:06In our 2nd show from Modernism Week 2022, we explore Modernism in Monterey CA with returning guest Pierluigi Serraino, Modernism in Bakersfield CA with Neutra owner David Coffey, and listen to a reading from his latest novel, Death by Design at Alcatraz, from Anthony Poon.
#245/The Legacy of Paul Rudolph: Kelvin Dickinson + Musical Guest Tierney Sutton
1:00:31Few architects have been as exciting or controversial as Paul Rudolph, whose early successes designing Modernist vacation homes in Sarasota FL led to a later career as Chair of the Architecture Department at Yale, then nearly 30 years designing buildings with intense use of concrete and steel. While the public was largely inspired by his work, Rudolph fell out of favor in the US and shifted to Singapore and Hong Kong, where he was much heralded and sought after. Like most Modernist architecture, over the years Rudolph’s houses and buildings around the world became highly prized and at the same time, endangered. Joining us is preservationist, archivist, and President of the Paul Rudolph Institute for Modern Architecture, Kelvin Dickinson. Later on, music by the charming Tierney Sutton.
#244/Palm Springs Modernism Week 2022: Jeanne Gang + Jickie Torres + Rose Mallett
1:12:36Every year USModernist Radio goes to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, the Super Bowl of mid-century modernism. This is no weekend tabletop show at the Elks lodge. It takes a huge village, a rather attractive Modernist village with perfect weather, to create an event that sells over 120,000 tickets across 11 days in February. Nowhere in the world celebrates Modernism better. This was the sixth year USModernist has been at Modernism Week, talking poolside at the USModernist Compound, aka the hip Hotel Skylark, with nearly all the keynote speakers, authors, and special guests. When modern-day Dorothy's kick their red ruby slippers together, they don’t go to Kansas, they land next to in Frank Sinatra’s pool in Palm Springs. Modernism Week is a dazzling spectacle of mid-century architecture, martinis, lectures, art galleries, shopping, nonprofit benefit events, architecture documentary premieres, amazing parties at incredible houses, brilliantly curated house tours, detailed art and architecture exhibits, and much more. in this our first show from Modernism Week 2022, we talk with Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, Atomic Ranch editor Jickie Torres, and special Palm Springs musical guest, the star of the Purple Room every Tuesday night, Rose Mallett.
#243/Architecture Photographer Norman McGrath + Musical Guest Sherry Petta
53:11Welcome to USModernist Radio, where we talk and laugh with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world. One man who’s photographed many of them is Norman McGrath, whose images over the course of 6 decades have appeared everywhere from Progressive Architecture to Architecture Record. Later, jazz with the lovely Sherry Petta.
#242/YouTube Architecture Star Stewart Hicks Explains it All
38:51Stewart Hicks makes architecture understandable and accessible through his wildly popular YouTube channel. An assistant professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago and co-founder of Design With Company, he covers everything from architecture superfans Brad and Kanye to why architects like flat roofs!