Modernism Week 2020 Highlights Landscape Design and Outdoor Living

Modernism Week, the February festival that highlights midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California, will offer a series of presentations, book signings and its always-popular Modern Garden Tour, focused on midcentury and contemporary landscape architecture and design. All Modernism Week events are open to the public and tickets are on sale at  Modernism Week will take place February 13-23, 2020. If you’ve not gotten your tickets now, don’t delay! If you’re traveling from out of town, you may also wish to assure that all of your lodging and dining reservations are locked down as well.

“Modernism Week’s popular Landscape Design and Outdoor Living series continues to offer exceptional insights into indoor-meets-outdoor living,” said Paul Ortega, Landscape and Outdoor Living Captain. ”Modernists can attend compelling talks, interact with qualified landscape professionals or participate in the Modern Garden Tour. All of our events bring together ideas, talent, research and practical advice for people who want to know more about authentic California desert living.”

About the 2020 Landscape + Outdoor Living Series:

Wednesday, February 19, 1 PM Modern Garden Tour – $75 – Experience and embrace the modern aesthetic of drought tolerant and desert-friendly plants while touring exquisitely designed private modern gardens located in Palm Springs, on our ninth annual Modern Garden Tour. Come discover a wide range of garden designs from minimal to lush, all using modern materials and plantings. A keepsake brochure and map will be provided at check-in.

February 22, 10 AM – $20
How Sunset Magazine Shaped California and the West – This lively and informative panel discussion details how the Sunset archive was nearly lost to the landfill and about the magazine’s impact on the lifestyle of the American West in the latter half of the 20th century and how it helped cultivate the uniquely modern lifestyle of the West. If you grew up with Sunset in your home, or even if you’re just curious about one of the key drivers of 20th-century modernism, this event is not to be missed. This event takes place at the Plaza Theatre in Downtown Palm Springs.

The following events will also be offered at Modernism Week’s CAMP Headquarters:

February 14, 9 AM – $12
Renaissance of Urban Public Space: Halprin’s Portland Open Space Sequence – The Halprin Landscape Conservancy’s recently celebrated restoration of the Portland Open Space Sequence and its impact on the emerging Fountain District is the subject of this presentation.

February 15, from 10 AM – 4 PM – $30
Ask a Landscape Designer – 30 minutes of advice from a professional landscape designer presented by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

February 16, 10:30 AM – $12
The American Garden at Midcentury – Join Jonathan D. Lippincott as he covers some of the important American landscape architects of the midcentury modern period including Thomas Church, Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley.

February 16, 2 PM – $12
Robert Royston- In this talk, JC Miller will present Royston’s work with an emphasis on his residential projects, including his final commission, a series of gardens for the Palm Springs homes of Brent R. Harris and Lisa Meulbroek. Miller will discuss the experience of working directly with Royston on the design of the project and his continued collaboration with the owners through the years.

February 16, 4 PM – $100
Robert Royston in Palm Springs: A Book Signing and Tour of the Circle and Becket House Gardens– A book signing, tour and conversation between JC Miller, author of Robert Royston, and Palm Springs garden owner Brent R. Harris about Royston’s final project.

February 17, 9 AM – $12
Lockwood de Forest Jr., Santa Barbara Proto-Modernist– This talk by Robin Karson will focus primarily on Lockwood de Forest Jr.’s c. 1926 design for his own house and garden in Santa Barbara.

February 17, 10:30 AM – $12
Welton Becket & Ruth Shellhorn: The Commercial & Retail Projects – Landscape architect Kelly Comras, FASLA, explores the collaboration of architect Welton Becket and landscape architect Ruth Shellhorn on fifteen projects that helped put post-war Los Angeles on the map.

February 19, 9 AM – $12
California Post-war Landscape Architecture Today – Author Jeffrey Head guides us through a conversation on the influence of modernist landscape architects like Church, Eckbo and Halprin in today’s California landscapes. 

February 20, 9 AM – $12
The Backyard, a Biography – Freelance nature writer Denise Maher explores the America backyard in a visual as well as psychological and cultural treatment of outdoor built spaces utilizing Maher’s own catalog of landscape projects as well as under-seen images from Julius Schulman’s archive at the Getty Research Institute.

February 22, 2 PM – $15
Desertscaping: Past, Present and the Future – A panel on the history and practice of sustainable horticulture in the Coachella Valley and California’s desert regions.

Modernism Week’s Mission:
The mission of Modernism Week is to celebrate and foster appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation, and sustainable modern living as represented in the Greater Palm Springs area. The Complete Guide to Palm Springs, CA!

About David J Castello

David J Castello is the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Operating Officer for the Castello Cities Internet Network (,,, etc). His debut novel, The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) was published in 2016.

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