Cool, Iconic, Modern…Palm Springs
By Cindy Duffy


This year marks the ninth anniversary of Modernism Week’s signature February event, an exciting 11-day celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. The event, which has become a highlight in Palm Springs, began in 2006 as a means of showcasing Palm Springs’ world-renowned mid-century modern architecture.

While Palm Springs has long enjoyed worldwide fame as a celebrity haven and international vacation destination, its mid-century modern architecture started to attract a new market that put it on the map for cultural tourism as well as fun in the sun. The growing interest in the architecture resulted in the birth of the first Modernism Week to promote and celebrate the ideals, design, and culture of modernism.

From its humble beginnings, Modernism Week has continued to grow exponentially to eleven days and more than 150 events. As the variety and sophistication of events continues to grow, a greater number of people from around the globe are drawn to join us in this celebration, bringing more than $12 million into the local economy in 2013.

As a response to positive feedback from attendee survey results, Modernism Week has added more options for evening entertainment this year with the introduction of “Modernism Week After Dark,” a new and exciting series of nightly entertainment including cocktail parties at stylish hotels, music clubs, and venues featuring live bands, deejays and dancing. An exclusive, retro-inspired “Modern Mambo” party will kick-off the festivities on February 13, 2014.

Another new and much anticipated addition is The Modernism Week Show House 2014: The Christopher Kennedy Compound presented by Luxe Interiors + Design. Under the direction of noted Palm Springs designer Christopher Kennedy, an unparalleled roster of celebrity designers have re-imagined an architecturally significant Stan Sackley home, circa 1971, which will be open to the public for tours and will also be the site of several evening events.

Perhaps the biggest news for Modernism Week this year is the recent announcement of a partnership with Goldenvoice, creators of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Stagecoach Country Music Festival. Goldenvoice will provide support through corporate sponsorships, national and international marketing campaigns, event logistics and special event production.

“This partnership, similar to our sponsorship agreements and partnerships with the City of Palm Springs, Land Rover and the Palm Springs Historical Society, allows Modernism Week to build additional capacity and expand our educational outreach throughout the Coachella Valley,” said Modernism Week Board Chairman, J. Chris Mobley. “Modernism Week enthusiastically seeks out collaborative opportunities that serve and promote our mission.”

The mission of Modernism Week, a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is to celebrate and foster appreciation of mid-century architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation and sustainable modern living as represented in Palm Springs. In light of this mission, Modernism Week and Goldenvoice have future plans to expand programs throughout the calendar year and to develop specialty VIP hotel, ticket and shuttle packages.

In the future, possible quarterly or even year-round programming will allow Modernism Week to expand its scholarship program for college students pursuing educations in the fields of architecture and design, and to increase its grants to local and state preservation organizations for their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California.

As this year’s event draws to a close, organizers will already be working on details for a spectacular 10th annual Modernism Week, February 12-22, 2015.