Modern Atlanta is pushing hard to brand Atlanta as the design hub of the South, calling it a "city on the verge of becoming a sought-after design destination." And "Why shouldn't it be Atlanta?" says event co-founder Elayne DeLeo. "We're giving design a public forum because people need to know that there are companies here doing work and therefore opportunities to thrive." To that end, the five-year-old event has jam-packed June 1-10 with lectures, exhibits, cocktail parties, and home tours to highlight talent and innovation from the Old Fourth Ward to the Netherlands and beyond.
1) Gage/Clemenceau Architects helped dress Lady Gaga.
Sort of. Gage/Clemenceau Architects collaborated with Lady Gaga's fashion director and Mulger creative director Nicola Formichetti to create an installation around Formichetti's designs for Gaga during New York Fashion Week last fall. At MA12, Gage/Clemenceau Architects founding partner Marc Clemenceau will give the lecture "Design Liquidity in the Age of Network Economy" on combining ideas of architecture and design, and biology, fashion, robotics, environmental science, software programming, automotive styling and material engineering. June 9, 5:15-6 p.m. Hill Auditorium, High Museum of Art.
2) Kwanza Hall would like you to come party on Edgewood.
The District II councilman worked with MA12 to create the Edgewood Design District and help extend the fest's reach outside of the expected Midtown and Westside neighborhoods with multiple events at the Sound Table's Space2 as well as the Alan Heller and Frank Gehry Furniture Collection debut at Whitespace Gallery, which includes a talk from Heller. June 5, 6-9 p.m.; talk 7:30 p.m. Whitespace Gallery, 814 Edgewood Ave.
3) MA12 has the Yale stamp of approval.
Yale School of Architecture Dean Robert A. M. Stern curated a series of talks for this year's event, including "Visualization -in Design Pedagogy" and "Robots in School - Technology and the Next Generation of Architects." Dates, times vary. Hill Auditorium, High Museum.
4) Grape-pickers make for a boisterous dinner crowd.
MA12 screens Pomerol, Herzog & de Meuron, the third entry in Ila Beka and Louise Lemoine's Living Architectures film series that examines how humans interact with built spaces - in this case the grape-pickers in their Herzog & de Meuron-designed dining hall at the Jean-Pierre Moueix vineyards in Pomerol, France. June 9, 7:15-8:15 p.m. Hill Auditorium, High Museum.
5) The home tour visits Athens.
This year a pre-tour jaunt to Athens on June 2 was added to the popular home tour to showcase two designs, including the Classic City's first LEED-certified home. The main tour takes place the following weekend and hits nine metro-area homes, including the much-talked-about Justice/Kohlsdorf residence in Buckhead, which features an on-site art gallery and shooting range. Athens: June 2, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Atlanta: June 9-10, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
6) There will be a tensegrity canopy on the Beltline.
Allow Modern Atlanta's 2012 book to explain: "Tensegrity is a structural principal based on the use of compressive components inside a net of continuous tension." For the third year, Atlanta's Young Architects Forum hosted the 10Up Challenge, a 10-foot-by-10-foot pop-up architecture competition. This year's winners, Tim Frank and Chip Clark, devised a hovering wooden matrix canopy that will double as a bird sanctuary to be temporarily placed along the Beltline.
7) The drinkware can be as interesting as the drink.
London firm DesignMarketo's Bar Alto makes its American debut here in Atlanta during MA12. The event pays homage to Milan's legendary Bar Basso, cocktail haunt of design-world elite whose signature drink is the Negroni sbagliato or "wrong Negroni" since it's made with Prosecco instead of gin. London designer Harry Thaler is designing a pop-up bar in the Sound Table's sister joint Space2 for an exhibit of reinterpreted Duralex Picardie glass tumblers - "the original French tumbler" - by international designers such as Max Frommeld and Loris&Livia as well as some new commissions from locals Kevin Byrd, Travis Ekmark, and Colin Farill. June 7, 5-9 p.m.; June 8-9, 2 p.m.-until; June 10, 4-8 p.m.
8) It's free!
With the exception of the home tour, which costs $35 and includes a copy of MA12's beautiful event book, you won't have to spend a thing outside of your cocktail budget to check out Modern Atlanta: Design is Human Week. Full list of events, dates, times, and locations at modern-atlanta.org.
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