Welcome to our Moderns show, episode #63 of Boroughs & Burbs. This week I would like to explore the concept of modernism with two experts who have given the subject a great deal of thought, built magnificent modern houses and buildings, and who have taught the subject of Modern architecture around the world in seminars and at the college level.
First, we’d like to define Modernism. Are we talking about the clean lines and open-plan aesthetics of the 1950’s, now over 70 years old, or is the new Modernism something else entirely? What does it mean to be Modern in 2022 and where is the movement going? Does Modernism include the clean lines of IKEA’s smart home or the exotic Iron Man’s cliffside villa in Avengers?
Second, we’d like to understand who is buying modern architecture, and why? Maybe Modern architecture is so expensive that it has become a status symbol for the ultra-rich. Are the ultra-rich the only ones who can afford these sleek glass and steel structures with fabulous waterfront views or views of L.A. from the Hollywood Hills. These modern houses are a staple of shows like Selling Sunset, and admired by the rest of us. Will they ever become accessible to the rest of us?
Third, we would like to know where this admiration of Modern by the “younger generation” comes from, and how it is showing up in our housing market in markets from New York, to L.A., Miami, the Hamptons or Connecticut. Some of these communities embrace modern design, while others reject it in favor of more tradtional styles. An article in Curbed seemed to suggest that Modernism comes from the trend toward urban living: we all value the aesthetic of the modern, uncluttered, technology-centric apartment in the city. Maybe Baby Boomer rejected modern because it childhood homes.
Is the Flat Pack IKEA House the future of Modernism for the rest of us? The world needs affordable housing. So, when a home is industrialized and mass-produced does that qualify as Modern? Or, is industrialized and mass-produced simply a component or the starting point of today’s Modern Design?
John Engel – John Engel can be found at http://www.JohnEngel.com. He is a consistently top-producing agent in Fairfield County, Connecticut. John recently won the Realtor of the Year Award in New Canaan where he is has been Chairman of the Town Council and is currently a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission. John also brings an insight into internet-based marketing that is unsurpassed. Before going into real estate he was the founder of two successful internet businesses, Paper.com and e-Media for which he won the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. John spent his earliest years in Stuyvesant Town in lower Manhattan and went to New Canaan High School before attending Davidson College in North Carolina. After graduating, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army and spent some time leading a military intelligence platoon on the front lines of the first Gulf War. He currently lives in New Canaan with his wife Melissa and four children. In addition to hosting this podcast on the market each week, John Engel produces an easy-to-understand and in-depth monthly market analysis called the Market Report for the 16 towns of lower Fairfield County.
Roberto Cabrera – Roberto can be found at http://www.RobertoCabrera.com. With 20 years of experience, I have been recognized throughout the industry for achieving outstanding results: Ranked nationally by REAL Trends as one of “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” for avg. sales price of $4.350M. Sold a single family Townhouse faster than any other on the Upper West Side over $10M. I live with my wife and daughter on the Upper West Side, the neighborhood I have called home for the past 23 years. I was originally born in Richmond, Virginia and grew up in Maryland, just one mile south of the Mason Dixon line. After graduating with a degree in Mathematical Economics from Hampden-Sydney College, the 10th oldest school in the country, I spent 5 years in Washington, DC working as a financial consultant. I also studied at The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and I’m a former actor who once moonlighted as a stand-up comedian. Many years ago, I authored APPLE PIE – The Real Ingredients for Buying and Selling Your Slice.