Symposium And Exhibition Highlights Michigan's Role In American Modernism

Registration Ends May 31

May 21, 2013, 16:31 ET from Michigan State Housing Development Authority

LANSING, Mich., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- People interested in Modern design have one week left to register for Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, a four-day symposium at Cranbrook that will bring together national experts to talk about Michigan's major role in the development of American Modernism.


Michigan was the epicenter of Modern design during the mid-twentieth century and influenced Modern design throughout the world. Michigan's design industry shaped the American Dream and brought good design to the masses.

Here's what registrants will get out of the symposium:

  • Hear stories directly from designers that were part of Michigan's mid-century design boom, such as Gunnar Birkets and Ruth Adler Schnee.
  • The location within the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills serves to heighten the experience, as Cranbrook is at the heart of the Michigan Modern story.
  • Thirty speakers in all will discuss Modernism's Michigan roots during the symposium, including architecture critic and historian Alan Hess; Paul Makovsky, editorial director of Metropolis Magazine; Eames Demetrios, the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames; and Columbia University Professor and PBS History Detective Gwendolyn Wright.
  • Tours of significant sites also are part of the symposium schedule, including: a rarely offered tour of the General Motors Technical Center, designed by Eero Saarinen; the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Palmer House in Ann Arbor; the Wayne State University campus, planned by Minoru Yamasaki; and Lafayette Park, the largest collection of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's International style residential work in the world. A tour of Midland is also offered, including the Dow Home and Studio.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear about architects and designers like Minoru Yamasaki, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames, among others, and the relationships that existed between the designers, auto and furniture manufacturers, and Michigan educational institutions like the University of Michigan School of Architecture and Cranbrook Educational Community. The symposium also offers participants the opportunity to tour some of Michigan's modern resources, including a rare opportunity to tour the General Motors Technical Center, designed by Eero Saarinen.

A companion exhibition, Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America opens to the public at Cranbrook Art Museum in on June 14.

Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America is supported by the Kresge Foundation, Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation, Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, the McGregor Fund, Herman Miller, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Knoll, the Clannad Foundation, Robert W. Daverman, AIA, the Detroit Area Art Deco Society, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, the Michigan History Foundation, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

For symposium registration and other details, go to Advance registration is required. Some tours are nearing capacity. Registration ends May 31.

The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is financed in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on its federally funded assistance programs.  If you believe you've been discriminated against please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C. St. NW, Washington DC 20240.

Contact: Katie Bach
517.335.4786 or 517.643.0308

SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority