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US Modernist Radio - Architecture You Love

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Join host George Smart as the USModernist Radio crew talks and laughs with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world.

Join host George Smart as the USModernist Radio crew talks and laughs with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world.


United States


Join host George Smart as the USModernist Radio crew talks and laughs with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world.




#145/Modernism Week Interiors: Honoring Alexander Girard, Steve Chase, and Arthur Elrod with Christine Marvin + Michela O’Connor Abrams + Katherine Hough

In the first of two shows on Modernist interiors and interior designers, host George Smart chats poolside with two organizers of the Alexander Girard exhibition held during Modernism Week at the Palm Springs Museum of Art, Christine Marvin of Marvin Windows and Doors and Michela O’Connor Abrams of MOCA+, and later he talks about interior designers Steve Chase and Arthur Elrod with former Chief Curator of the Museum, Katherine Hough, who worked with them both.


#144B/Bonus Show: Home on AppleTV+ with Story Producer Loren Gomez

There's a new streaming series on AppleTV+ called Home, nine shows about unusual houses around the world. George Smart talks with one of Home's Story Producers Loren Gomez about two of those houses, one in Sweden that's totally enclosed by a greenhouse and one in Texas that's pretty much underground.


#144/HOK: Patrick MacLeamy + Bill Hellmuth, plus A Few Minutes with Frank Harmon

Today you’ll meet two CEO’s of HOK, one of the most successful architecture firms in the world, past CEO Patrick MacLeamy and current CEO Bill Hellmuth. Every architecture student knows HOK, and it’s one of the largest design firms in the US with 1800 team members. Since 1955, HOK has designed hundreds of major projects like the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in DC, Apple’s first major campus in Cupertino, the George Bush Presidential Library in Texas, Orioles Baseball Park in...


#143/Modernism Week Architecture Movies Part 1: Jake + Tracey Gorst, plus P. David Ebersole + Todd Hughes

Nowhere in the world celebrates Modernism better than Palm Springs, California. Every February, they have a huge architecture and design festival called Modernism Week which actually lasts 11 days. Today in the first of two shows about architecture-related movies taped at Modernism Week, host George Smart talks with filmmakers Jake and Tracey Gorst of Frey Part 2: The Architectural Interpreter, and later he visits with P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, directors of the new Pierre Cardin...


#142/Architect Ronnette Riley, Lustrons with Virginia Faust + Leonardo, and Frank Harmon

Today on USModernist Radio it's a full slate of great guests: art collector, model collector, race car driver, softball player, and architect Ronnette Riley, project lead for the Lipstick Building in New York designed by Philip Johnson. Later on, Virginia Faust talks about the venerable Lustron, the house of the future that didn't make it, plus special musical guest Leonardo with the world's only Lustron song, and a new feature - architect Frank Harmon reading from his new book of sketches...


#141/Modernism Week Icon: Remembering Marilyn Monroe with Sunny Thompson + Greg Schreiner + Joshua Greene

Other than Frank Sinatra, there are few people who are so tightly woven into the spirit of mid-century culture than 1950's Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe. Sometime later this year, plans call for a nearly 30 foot tall statue of her in the famous blowing white dress to return to Palm Springs as a permanent home. In her day, Marilyn was as big as any celebrity you could name. She was involved with some of the most well-known men in the world: baseball great Joe Dimaggio, playwright Arthur...


#140/Late Great Architecture Magazines: Editor John Morris Dixon

In a mid-century world way before Instagram, people kept up with the latest buildings primarily through architecture magazines. Although a few titles like Architecture Record are still going, there were many exceptional publications that in their heyday from 1945-1970 reached millions of readers across the US and the World. Today we welcome John Morris Dixon, the last editor of one of those great magazines, Progressive Architecture. Dixon has interviewed and written about just about every...


#139/Modernism Week: Reviving Craig Ellwood with Barton Jahncke + Diane Bald, Joe Dangaran + Brett Woods

Craig Ellwood was one of the most exciting people in American architecture. He took Los Angeles by storm and no one since has fully captured his personal style or his incredible story - but that's on the way. Although he took structural engineering courses at UCLA, Ellwood was not a licensed architect, but that did not matter to him or to his clients. Ellwood was a true design genius. Ellwood could sell, too. He had a red Ferrari (among other great cars) and was a perfect fit with the...


#138/Skidmore Owings + Merrill, with Nick Adams + Kate Reggev plus Musical Guest Valerie Wood

Skidmore Owings and Merrill, which sounds like a law firm your uncle Mitch might work at, created international airports, stunningly tall skyscrapers, universities, flagship museums, and landmark corporate headquarters since the 1930’s. In its heyday it was the Amazon of design firms, one of the largest in the world, with projects such as the 1973 Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago, the 2010 Burj Khalifa in Dubai, international airport terminals in Chicago and Kansas City, Lever House, the 2013...


#137/Modernism Week 2020: Daniel Libeskind + Nelda Linsk + Alison Martino

Nowhere in the world celebrates Modernism better than Palm Springs, California. Every February, they have a huge architecture and design festival called Modernism Week, which actually lasts 11 days. This was the fifth year USModernist has been at Modernism Week, talking poolside at the USModernist Compound, aka the hip Hotel Skylark, with nearly all the keynote speakers, authors, and special guests. When modern-day Dorothy's kick their red ruby slippers together, they don’t go to Kansas,...


#136/New York Worlds Fair: Mitch Silverstein + Stephanie Bohn

In a world before the internet, World’s Fairs were the killer app of the 19 and most of the 20 centuries. Countries would assemble at a central place for about 6 months and build pavilions, each sharing their nation’s technology, culture, and national sources of pride, symbols, heroes, and achievements. If you’ve ever been to Epcot at Disney World, you get the idea. There were two World's Fairs in New York about 25 years apart. Much of the World’s fair architecture was forward-thinking and...


#135/WestEdge Design Fair: Epic Spaces + Favorite Places

Each fall, there’s a cool art and design gathering called WestEdge Design Fair in Santa Monica. It’s held in the Barker Hanger, an enormous space at the Santa Monica airport. This year, USModernist's George Smart moderated two panels with some of the most well-known designers from around America and the UK. What you’re about to hear is one of those panels, Epic Spaces and Favorite Places, with guests Tom Parker, Alison Pickart, David Thompson, John McClain, and Massimo Buster Minale. This is...


#134/The Skyscraper Museum: Carol Willis

From London to Tokyo to Dubai, the skyscraper is a part of every modern city, but no city has done it better, or longer, than New York. Starting in the 1920's, the booming economy, use of steel, and advanced engineering took skyscrapers into reality for the first time. Hey, who wakes up one day and says "Hey, I want to create a museum"? Carol Willis does. In 1996, she founded and still runs the Skyscraper Museum in Manhattan which explains the history, allure, and future of tall buildings -...


#133/Almost Live from New York: Bethany Borel of COOKFOX + Author Anthony Alofsin

Host George Smart cashed in a few frequent flyer miles to report from New York City, doing a walk and talk around the innovatively designed COOKFOX architecture office with project leader Bethany Borel. Later on George visits author Anthony Alofsin, whose new book Wright and New York: the Making of America's Architect explores Frank Lloyd Wright’s years in the Big Apple.


#132/Modernist Author Dominic Bradbury

What could be better than to make a living writing about Modernist architecture? Today on the show all the way from the UK, its author Dominic Bradbury, author of the new book Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses. Bradbury is a writer and freelance journalist specializing in architecture, design, real estate, and travel, writing over 20 over twenty books, at least one of which you have on your coffee table: Nordic Houses, Mid-Century Modern Complete, The Iconic House, The Iconic Interior, Off...


#131/Bigtime Architecture Competitions: Susanna Sirefman + Robby Johnston

Sometimes the controversy about a building, particularly about a huge museum or government project, starts way before it opens or even before a Mayor, or a Governor, a Prime Minister, or even a Kardashian moves the first shovel of dirt. Today we welcome Susanna Sirefman, founder and president of Dovetail Design Strategists, an architect selection firm specializing in design competitions. Also with us, not by coincidence, Robby Johnston from Raleigh Architecture, a North Carolina firm...


#130/Architecture + Design Film Festival #2: Alysa Nahmias + Akira Boch

Alysa Nahmias is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of the Los Angeles-based production company Ajna Films. Her directorial debut feature, Unfinished Spaces, co-directed with Benjamin Murray, won a 2012 Spirit Award, numerous festival prizes, and is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In The New Bauhaus, the film's narrative weaves original interviews with archival footage, voiceover, and stylized filming of documents and artwork. The result is a new...


#129: Children of Genius: Annie Gwathmey + Guest Co-host Paige Claussen

Charles Gwathmey was a native of North Carolina and got interested in architecture at an early age. Charlie, as he was known, studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and at Yale University under Paul Rudolph, then went into partnership with Richard Henderson and later Robert Siegel. Over a career spanning five decades, Charlie and Bob designed some of the country's most iconic Modernist houses (for celebrities and CEO's such as Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, and Michael...


#128/Modernist House Museums: Kelvin Dickinson/Modulightor + Lucia Dewey Atwood/Eames House

Fire up the car or start booking plane tickets, as today we’re talking about two amazing Modernist house museums you’ll definitely want to visit, one in New York City, and one in Los Angeles, with guest Executive Directors: Kelvin Dickinson of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation and the Modulightor Building in New York, last home of architect Paul Rudolph; and Lucia Dewey Atwood of the Charles and Ray Eames House in Los Angeles.


#127/NY Architecture + Design Film Festival: Britni Harris on Bruce Goff + Lene Borch Hansen on Jorn Utzon

This is the third year USModernist Radio has been part of the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York. Every fall, the stars, producers, and creators gather to premiere their latest documentaries. ADFF Executive Director Kyle Bergman curates visually wonderful, thought-provoking, and faithfully documented films that capture the brilliance of architects, artists, and significant buildings. Host George Smart talks with two of the filmmakers from this year’s festival: Lene Borch...