Brown Bag: Michigan Modern
Amy Arnold, Project Manager
Preservation Planner, Michigan State Historic Preservation Office
Since the early 20th century, Michigan has produced designers, architects and educators whose visions have touched nearly every American household. From the cars we drive to the chairs we sit in, from our shopping centers to our office space, Michigan played a major role in forging the American experience. Michigan’s furniture and automobile industries embodied the Bauhaus philosophy by bringing together industry, architecture, and art. Michigan-based architects like Eero Saarinen and Minoru Yamasaki defined the Modern era. The state’s post World War II wealth allowed Michigan to become a leader in the modern movement both importing and exporting some of the nation’s greatest design and architectural talent.
This presentation will provide an overview of the Michigan Modern project and the information we have discovered including: the work of pre-modern pioneers like architects Albert Kahn and Emil Lorch that laid the foundation for Modernism; Michigan’s leading architects and centers of modern design excellence from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and the University of Michigan to the Herman Miller Furniture Company and General Motors; and notable architectural contributions such as Lafayette Park in Detroit.
Participants in this session will learn about:
- Michigan’s pioneering architectural and design heritage
- The design and architectural work of masters in Michigan both well-known (Eero Saarinen’s General Motors Technical Center) and little known (George Nelson’s house for the Kirkpatrick family in Kalamazoo)
- Look at the work of regional architects around the state that contributed to Modernism
- How the work of Michigan-based architects contributed to the modern movement in the state and beyond.
Attendees can earn 1 LU learning unit.
Lunch is not provided due to this being a non-vendor event! Feel free to bring your own.