History of Design: Mid Century Modern

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The Los Angeles County has played host to some of the most influential architects and furniture designers in the history of design. Architects and builders like Ray and Charles Eames as well as A. Quincy Jones flocked to Southern California for many reasons, but one in particular always stands out in their designs—the ability to make a strong connection between good modern design and nature. Mid Century Modern capitalized on the countries growing confidence after WWII, new building materials, and a changing design aesthetic. LA has always been host to the greatest fashions and design trends so it is no wonder that the hills are filled with famous pieces of Mid Century Modern design.

Begging in the 1930’s through the 60’s with a handful of designers coming out of the International and Bauhaus movements – including the works of Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe— Mid Century modern design has truly made a come back in the last few years. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Eichler became famous in the United States for their ability to bring modern design to post-war America. Today, furniture collectors and designers are snatching up these classic pieces of sleek wooden furniture and mixing them in with other genres to create eclectic and timeless designs.

Brazilian and Scandinavian architects were very influential early on, with a style characterized by clean simplicity and integration with nature. Scandinavian designs today are still one of the largest contributors to Mid Century Modern design. Scandinavian design focuses heavily on furniture design and creating warm and inviting interiors. The use of beautiful solid woods and hand crafted techniques of Danish designers and craftsmen have lent themselves beautifully with the principles behind Mid Century Modern design.

Revolutionary builder and real estate developer Joseph Eichler was instrumental in bringing Mid-Century Modern architecture (“Eichler Homes”) to subdivisions in the Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay region of California, and select housing developments on the east coast. Los Angeles today is still home to some of the most stunning pieces of Mid Century Modern Architecture, many carved elegantly into the Hollywood Hills.

In Santa Monica, architect and activist Cory Buckner is working to preserve the living monuments of L.A.’s mid-century-modern past, including her own home by A. Quincy Jones. Images provided by Dwell

You can read more about Cory Buckner’s home and neighborhood here:


AUTHOR - Rebecca Johnston

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