A Drifter’s Guide to Modernism Week in Palm Springs 

Nestled in the heart of the California desert, Palm Springs is a sun-drenched oasis known for its mid-century modern architecture and design. Once the glamorous retreat for Hollywood’s elite, this vibrant city continues to captivate with its time-capsule appeal, especially during the celebrated Modernism Week. I had the pleasure of immersing myself in this year’s festivities, and I’m eager to share the highlights and hidden gems that made my experience truly unforgettable.

The Essence of Modernism Week:

Modernism Week in Palm Springs is an annual event that draws aficionados from around the globe, celebrating mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion, and culture over ten days. It offers a unique opportunity to peek inside iconic homes, participate in enlightening tours, attend engaging lectures, and mingle with fellow enthusiasts against the stunning desert landscape.

Architectural Tours: A Journey Through Time:

The architectural tours are a cornerstone of Modernism Week. From double-decker bus tours offering panoramic views of the city, to intimate walks through historic neighborhoods, each tour provides a narrative that weaves together the past and present of Palm Springs. A standout was the tour of the iconic Frey House II, perched atop a mountain, offering not just a look at its ingenious design but also breathtaking views of the valley below.

Exclusive Home Tours: Behind Closed Doors:

Modernism Week affords the rare treat of stepping inside some of Palm Springs most exquisite private residences. Each home showcased the era’s design ethos, offering endless inspiration. It is like walking through a living museum, with each room telling its own story of style and innovation.

Lectures and Panels: Minds Meeting Over Design:

The lectures and panel discussions are the intellectual backbone of Modernism Week. Experts shared insights on a range of topics, sparking lively debates and highlighting the dynamic and evolving nature of modernist principles.

The Vintage Marketplace: A Treasure Trove:

The Modernism Show & Sale was a highlight for those who revel in the thrill of treasure hunting. Dealers brought an extraordinary collection of furniture, art, and fashion from the mid-20th century, making the marketplace not just a shopping experience but a journey through time. 

Reflections on a Week Well Spent:

As the sun set on Modernism Week, I found myself reflecting on the experience with a heart full of inspiration. Palm Springs, with its architectural gems and spirited community, proved to be the perfect host for this celebration of design. For those who appreciate beauty, innovation, and the stories behind the structures we inhabit, Modernism Week in Palm Springs is an event not to be missed.