Lecture: Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America
Join Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer Brian D. Conway for a conversation on Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America. The synergy of industry, prosperity, and educational leadership in Michigan produced and attracted some of the most iconic modern architects and designers of the twentieth century. Albert Kahn, Harley Earl, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, George Nelson, Alexander Girard, Ray and Charles Eames, Florence Knoll, and Minoru Yamasaki are just a few of the internationally recognized designers that made Michigan a global influence. These visionaries touched nearly every aspect of American life and left an unparalleled legacy by combining art with mass production to put modern design in every household. Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway will present a look at the Michigan based educational institutions, architects and designers, and automobile and furniture industries that changed the American way of life.
Brian D. Conway was appointed Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer in 1997. In that capacity, he directs the State Historic Preservation Office in fulfilling the state’s responsibility under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, including the identification, protection, and redevelopment of historic and archaeological resources. Conway holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and a Masters of Architecture degree from the University for Florida and has been involved with historic preservation and the rehabilitation of historic buildings throughout Michigan since 1980. He served on the board of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and is an adjunct professor in Eastern Michigan University’s graduate program in historic preservation. Conway coauthored the award winning book Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America published by Gibbs Smith Publishing in 2016. He has lectured across the country on topics related to modernism and historic preservation. Conway’s work on modernism in Michigan won the 2016 Advocacy Award of Excellence from Docomomo-US.
Photo Credit: Cranbrook exterior, Orpheus Fountain in front of the Cranbrook Art Museum, Cranbrook Educational Community, photo by James Haefner, fountain designed by Carl Milles, building designed by Eliel Saarinen