With the arrival of October it is officially the Month of Modern. We sat down with Kate Bailey who was the visionary behind MoM, and got the scoop about the exciting month ahead.
1. Let’s start out with the basics. Why did you decide to start the Month of Modern (MoM)?
Colorado has a rich history of modern design, but it has always taken a back seat to “mountain” and “rustic” design in national media. My mission is to cultivate a conversation about “Colorado Modern,” and present the Denver/Boulder region as one of the nation’s most vibrant hubs of modern design.
With so many people moving to the region from all corners of the world, the time is ripe to showcase the incredible design talent we have in our state. Colorado’s rich history of modern design, the high quality of work and craftsmanship, and a desire to simplify our lifestyles, has fueled a resurgence of modern design in Colorado. We are excited to focus a spotlight on both the great history of modernism in Boulder as well as the incredibly talented architects, artists and designers working today.
As well, Colorado has great food, fantastic weather and an active population. There are many events related to the outdoors, but not many occasions to study and celebrate design. We believe that there is a pent up interest that the public has no outlet for, and Month of Modern intends to fill the void.
2. This will be the second year that MoM takes place in Boulder. What are some changes we will see at MoM15?
We are excited to have three major international brands as sponsors this year—Knoll, Sherwin Williams and Porcelanosa—which is raising the profile of the event and allowing us to create more innovative programming and reach a wider audience.
Last year we had so much positive feedback on the lecture that we decided to make all of our events spark conversation. MoM15 will integrate thought-provoking events, contests and a Wrap Party/Award Ceremony. We want to celebrate the businesses, organizations and individuals who elevate industry standards and drive the modern movement forward.
3. Tell us a little bit about the history of modern in Colorado?
This legacy of modern design was founded in the 1940s when people began to flock to the Front Range, lured by its unmatched beauty, mild climate and a desire to pursue a more simple way of life.
Boulder was at the epicenter of this architecture movement with a group of struggling architects who were commissioned to build homes for the forward-thinking university professors, artists and scientists who populated this area along the Front Range.
Today, the influence of these pioneers—Charles Haertling, Roger Eason, Hobart Wagener, Gale Abels, James Hunter—can be seen and felt throughout the city, with clean, evocative designs sitting side by side with Victorian homes, 1970s office buildings, and iconic modernist homes and buildings.
4. What direction is the current “Colorado Modern” movement going?
Our region’s ranching, mining and agricultural history can seep in and roughen up the edges of ‘pure’ modernism. David Barrett of Barrett Studio Architects best described it as ‘beat to hell modernism.”
A certain kind of rough texture, coupled with sustainability and a reverence for the connection of indoors and outdoors, is now driving the future of Colorado modern design.
Boulder architect Renee del Gaudio put it best, “The Colorado modern movement has a deep commitment to sustainability and an appreciation for the natural world. The result is a movement of thoughtful, environmentally responsible, modern design that deepens people’s connection to the natural world through architecture.”
During MoM15 we aren’t looking for answers. Instead, we want to cultivate a conversation about how modern design enhances, informs and brings communities together and ultimately creates a better, more thoughtful and meaningful way of life.
5. Define your idea of what Modern is?
Modern isn’t a style it’s a way of life. Modern design is about simplifying. It’s thoughtful. It makes our lives easier, better, more inspired, creative and gives us the ability to create meaningful relationships with those around us.