Design Conversations No. 1—Resources

The first Modern In Denver Design Conversations event took took place August 27 at Workplace Resource. E.J. Meade and Arch11 presented the topic “Modern Is Not a Style” based on their op-ed from the summer issue of MID. Attendees participated in a group conversation to explore Arch11’s position further and to discuss ways to elevate design in our city. We’ve compiled a variety of resources for you to dive in deeper on the topic and encourage you to continue the conversation. 



Articles / Essays

“Modern Is Not a Style,” by E.J. Meade and Ken Andrews, published in Modern In Denver magazine
“Towards a Critical Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance,” by Kenneth Frampton, in The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture (1983) edited by Hal Foster, Bay Press


Le Corbusier: Toward an Architecture, Getty Research Institute
Atmospheres, by Peter Zumthor
Simulations, by Jean Baudrillard
Society of the Spectacle, by Guy Debord


TED Talk: “The Ghastly Tragedy of the Suburbs”
TED Talk: “A Tour of Modern Architecture”

3D Animation of Peter Zumthor’s “Atmospheres” 

Soundbites from the Design Conversations Event 

  • If we can take advantage of our regional opportunities, Denver can be a leader in architecture and design.
  • How do we export urban accessibility outside of the city as a design principle? 
  • How do we learn from history to design for today/tomorrow? How does space impact life and vice versa?
  • Thought experiment: What does it look like to live in a depreciating housing market like Japan? Design and disposability? 
  • Look at the global for the hints of what might be to come—Germany, Copenhagen; it’s risky, but higher quality.
  • Modern as method v. process—not about adopting a style; more about adopting series of principles.
  • What is the market’s responsibility for the way things are? What are the implications/pros and cons? Opportunity/challenge?
  • What is authenticity vs. simulation/simulacra? Depends where you start and what the context is .
  • When we refer to styles, we refer to a movement—progressive and inclusive of and rooted in context.
  • When a vision becomes a style, it become co opted. How does it affect urban culture?
  • There’s a lot of people are pissed off at what’s called modern—frustrating to see 100+ years boiled down to marketing.
  • Quality design is thinking about and respecting context with a vision to the future.


Questions/Prompts to Continue the Conversation 

Let’s keep this going! Whether in your office or over dinner, download these prompts to continue talking about elevating design in our community. #designthinking





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