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Symposium highlights Michigan's role in modern architecture

The history of 20th century design in Michigan isn’t just about automobiles. After World War II, Michigan was a hub for architects who broke away from the neo-classical shapes inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The era of modern architecture lasted about 30 years and produced many structures still seen today.

A symposium in Grand Rapids this weekend seeks to study Michigan’s role in modern architecture. The Kendall College of Art and Design is hosting a program called “Michigan Modern” to celebrate our state’s design heritage, from buildings to furniture.

Current State’s Kevin Lavery met with state historic preservation officer Brian Conway to explain Michigan’s key role in the era of modernism. Conway says that Michigan became a center of design in the post war era and attracted a lot of young talent because there were things happening in Michigan that weren’t happening anywhere else in the country.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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