Lectures & Films

Take a moment between cocktail parties, home tours, and design showcases to stop by the Hilton Hotel or the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum to hear contemporary architects and other design luminaries wax poetic about midcentury icons and their inspiration. This is also your chance to catch a showing of midcentury films, including two world premieres of new documentaries.


  • A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living – A rare look at the extensive thirty-year career of celebrated architect A. Quincy Jones, as well as local projects that captured the essence of his unique practice and architectural style. Jennifer Fletcher, assistant curator of architecture and design at SFMOMA, will lead the discussion.
    [February 16, 11:30am to 12:30pm. Tickets $10/person. Register here.]
  • What’s Californian About California Ceramics – A discussion of how the state became the national model for “designer-craftsman” production—activities that sought to bridge the gap between the studio and the factory.  Wendy Kaplan, department head and curator of decorative arts and design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will lead the discussion.
    [February 16, 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  Tickets $10/person.  Register here.]
  • Marimekko Behind the Scenes – Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron will present a lecture on Marimekko, the iconic Finnish textile manufacturer. Covering the company’s 1951 inception by founder Armi Ratia to the recent proliferation of US-based flagship stores, Dameron will present a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the bold and bright fabrics come to life inside the 43,000-square-foot factory in Helsinki.
     [February 16, 3pm to 4pm.  Tickets $10/person.  Register here.]
  • The Future of Frank Lloyd Wright – Sean Malone, the new President and CEO of the national Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, will explore the principles, artistry, and values of Frank Lloyd Wright’s body of work in terms of its relevance to our daily lives.
    [February 17, 10:30am to 11:30am.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction – Fasten your seatbelts for a wild ride through the beach houses of Fire Island, a modernist enclave and premier midcentury getaway for fashion designers, composers, playwrights, and photographers.
    [February 17, 12pm to 1pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • Art & Architecture: Lecture with Michael Palladino, FAIA – As a principal designer at Richard Meier & Partners since 1979, Michael Palladino has collaborated with Meier on many award-winning projects located throughout the world. Appointed partner in 1985, Palladino moved to Los Angeles the next year to open Richard Meier & Partners’ west coast office with the primary purpose to design and build The Getty Center. Palladino will speak about the intersection of art and architecture.
    [February 17, 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  Tickets $10. Register here.]
  • On a Wing and a Prayer: The 747 Wing House – Architect, David Randall Hertz, FAIA, will present an illustrated lecture, describing the 747 Wing House project from conception to realization.
    [February 18, 10am to 11am.  Tickets $10. Register here.]
  • Tony Duquette: Wild Child of Hollywood Design – Designer and author Hutton Wilkinson, owner and creative director of Tony Duquette Incorporated, will discuss his 28-year working relationship with the American design icon.
    [February 18, 1pm to 2pm.  Tickets $10. Register here.]
  • UPA Studios: Modern Cartoons – In its day, United Productions of America, more familiarly known as UPA, formed the foundation of the design movement in 1950s animation and was the animation studio against which all others were measured.  It was more than a cartoon studio, it was a modern attitude, a new way of thinking about what animation could be, and it all happened under the roof of a modern studio designed by a young John Lautner in 1949. Mr. Magoo and more!
    [February 19, 10am to 11am.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • California Modern Master – Ray Kappe has long been a cult figure in the architectural scene of Southern California. His smoothly rectilinear wood and glass houses, based on modular principles, modern technology, and a sensitive response to the regional climate, explore the principles of Los Angeles Modernism, as originally put forth by the work of Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler and others.  In a rare personal appearance, Mr. Kappe will share some of his wisdom and thoughts on architecture and sustainability.
    [February 20, 11:30am to 12:30pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • Welton Beckett: The Man Behind the Machine – At the time of his death, Welton Becket, FAIA (1902-1969) personally owned and ran the largest architectural firm in the world.  Welton Becket and Associates had offices in five states and produced important work throughout Southern California and around the world.  This work included iconic buildings such as Capital Records in Hollywood, the Music Center in Los Angeles, and the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, among others.  Architect Leo Marmol, FAIA, of Marmol Radziner, will be presenting a personal view of Welton Becket and his continued influence.
    [February 20, 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • The Face of Modernism Turns – Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, will discuss some of the changes in modernism and how it has affected the work of his firm, Studio Pali Fekete architects. He will explain how through their method of examining the realities of the building process they uncover poetry and joy and, usually, an uncanny portrait of the patron.
    [February 21, 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • Desert Installations, Salsa Dancing, and the Architecture of Tragedy – Hagy Belzberg, F.A.I.A., will discuss his design strategies for creating architecturally innovative projects. He views design as a collaborative process between client and architect and will illustrate his lecture with recent projects of his Santa Monica firm. His interest lies in combining function and performance with pattern making to create a modern architectural language.
    [February 22, 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • The Modern Mindset: Purists of the Past and New Futurists – California Home+Design Editor in Chief Erin Feher sits down with two designers who have made names for themselves by breaking out of the period-perfect modernist box—fashion and design icon Trina Turk and one of  SoCal’s premiere architects and product designers, Barbara Bestor—as well as a pair of traditionalists—Chris Menrad, the president of the Palm Springs Modernism Committee and Danny Heller, a young artist whose subjects include original Eames chairs, classic cars and the perfectly preserved architecture of the midcentury era.
    [February 23, 11am to 12pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here or at the door.  Admission includes Modern Living Expo and Prefab Showcase]
  • Attack of the Dodo-Sapiens: Innovative New Models for Sustainable Development – founder of OrganicArchitect, Eric Corey Freed, will explore how the lessons learned from history, biomimicry, crowdfunding, and collaborative consumption can provide new insight into ways to design living, regenerative buildings for everyone in a matter of decades. He will uncover specific, bold ideas for how to retrofit existing cities and suburbs.
    [February 16, 10:00am. Tickets $10. Register here.]
  • *WORLD PREMIERE* Midcentury Moderns: The Homes That Define Palm Springs – Modernism Week has the privilege of offering the first public viewing of Mid Century Moderns: The Homes That Define Palm Springs—just in from the editing room. [February 18, 3pm to 4pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • Eva Zeisel: Throwing Curves – Throwing Curves explores the life and art of a brave and willful woman became one of the most famous industrial designers of the modern era. Working primarily in porcelain and ceramic table-ware, Eva Zeisel’s pioneering work introduced her trademark sensuous curves to mass-production. With over sixty-plus years in the field Ms. Zeisel is one of the best-selling tableware designers of all time and her highly-collectable designs literally changed the face of modern design. [February 19, 3pm to 4:15pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • People in Glass Houses: The Legacy of Joseph Eichler – People in Glass Houses – The Legacy of Joseph Eichler is the first documentary film to explore the unique phenomenon that Mid-Century Modern developer, Joseph Eichler, created in the late 50’s and 60’s. [February 21, 3pm to 4pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • Eileen Gray: Designer and Architect – Eileen Gray (1878-1976) was always ahead of her time. Thirty years after her death, she is still considered the very essence of modern. Everyone has seen her furniture, including the famous Adjustable Table, the Lota Sofa, and the Tube Light, but most people don’t really know the designer and architect who created them. [February 22, 1oam to 11:10am.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]
  • *WORLD PREMIERE* Coast Modern – Modernism Week is proud to announce the anxiously awaited Palm Springs premiere ofCoast Modern, an independent documentary by directors Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome, both of whom will be in attendance for the Q&A session.  Travelling along the Pacific North West coastline from Los Angeles to Vancouver, the film showcases the pioneers of West Coast modernist architecture and the homes that have become their legacies. [February 22, 3pm to 4:30pm.  Tickets $10.  Register here.]

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