The Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Photo: Eliel Saarinen
Sunny California is often considered the center of modern design and architecture, but could the heart of mid-century modernity be found along the shores of Michigan?
Alexander Girard, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Gilbert Rohde—all pioneers of mid-century design and beloved by Herman Miller—lived, learned, and worked in the state. They are only the tip of the designer iceberg. Noteworthy architects who left structural legacies on Michigan soil including Frank Lloyd Wright and Eero and Eliel Saarinen.
Why Michigan? Many reasons, and certainly it was West Michigan’s furniture industry, the opportunity to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, exhibits hosted by the Detroit Institute of Art in the heart of the Motor City, and the numerous patrons who supported a new vision for the world.
To learn more, visit Michigan Modern, a project working to raise awareness of the state’s design legacy and share examples of the state’s ongoing leadership in modern design.