This June 3rd – June 7th, Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Minnesota will launch the third annual Docomomo US National Symposium–Modernism on the Prairie: Rural to Metro Regional Interpretations of the Modern Movement. This is a pretty big deal in the world of modernism for the Twin Cities area to be hosting such an event. Congratulations go out to the local Minnesota chapter of docomomo in attracting the national organization and selling them on choosing Minneapolis for their 3rd annual symposium.
The symposium doesn’t stop at just Minneapolis and St. Paul but will also incorporate trips and tours to Collegeville, MN to visit St. John’s Abbey and to Rochester, MN to visit the IBM facility among others. One of my recent blogs highlighted the Abbey because it was designed by Marcel Breuer a Hungarian-born modernist, architect and furniture designer. One of the masters of Modernism, Breuer extended the sculptural vocabulary he had developed in the carpentry shop studying under Walter Gropius and Bauhaus into a personal architecture that made him one of the world’s most popular architects at the peak of 20th-Century design.
The initial structure of the IBM building in Rochester was designed by Eero Saarinen, who clad the structure in blue panels of varying hues after being inspired by the Minnesota sky, as well as IBM’s nickname of “Big Blue”. These features and the facility’s size has earned it the nickname “The Big Blue Zoo” from employees. Eero was born in Finland to an architect father and a mother who was a gifted sculptor, weaver and photographer. Among his many accomplishments is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO which opened in 1965.
The symposium will include a multifaceted schedule of events featuring: peer-reviewed presentations, panel discussions, exclusive tours, and networking events. As the only national event working to explore and build consensus on the preservation of Modernism, the symposium will bring together world renowned designers, scholars, students, and professionals from the state of Minnesota and from around the country.
Registration is handled online at the website that I’ve linked below. You can attend the entire symposium or just specific one day rates as well. This is a terrific opportunity to hear from knowledgeable modern experts, tour some amazing properties and meet and mingle with some fellow enthusiasts. What a great kick-off to summer! See you there!