A celebration of Canberra’s rich mid-century modernist history is taking place as part of DESIGN Canberra, which shines a light on the capital’s position as a global city of design.
Canberra Modern is a series of exciting events that commend the mid-century development of the city, a period which according to co-founder of Canberra Modern and the ANU’s Heritage Advisor, Amy Jarvis, is not widely celebrated.
“Some of the world’s most acclaimed modernist architects made their unique and lasting mark on this fledgeling city in the mid-century period,” says Jarvis. “With major boom periods in the 1920s and again from the 1950s-1970s – the architectural aesthetic of the city is eclectic but deliberately cohesive.”
The Canberra Modern events will be held at the historic University House, on ANU campus. ANU has played a significant role in the cultural development of Canberra, making University House a fitting venue for this great event.
The biggest date on the Canberra Modern calendar would have to be the Modernist Dinner, held on Saturday 11 November, and featuring award-winning architectural photographer and Instagram sensation Darren Bradley (@modarchitecture) on keynote duties. The dinner will be hosted by comedian Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross, who recently received critical acclaim for his ABCTV program ‘Streets of Your Town”. Recreating an official 1950/60s dinner, an authentic three-course meal will be prepared, while Canberra bug band In Full Swing provide the soundtrack to the evening.
On Thursday 16 November, Canberra’s Martini Whisperer Phillip Jones, will present a specially designed Modernist Martini Recipe at his ‘The Cocktail Hour Lifestyle’ masterclass and talk. Discover the role of the Martini in adding a touch of class to a typical suburban lifestyle, and learn how the timeless cocktail is put together.
The courtyards of University House will play host to the Modernist Market on Sunday 12 November. Browse the diverse range of vintage clothing, books, homewares, jewellery, and more. There will be music and dance performances to keep you entertained, and a selection of gourmet food options for you to snack on while you shop. Pinup sensation Miss Cherry Bomb will be hosting a best-dressed competition, and if that’s not enough, there will also be a classic car show and shine, photo booth, tours, and vintage hair and makeup demonstrations.
Many of the modernist architectural wonders that make Canberra so unique have already been demolished or redeveloped, and Canberra Modern aims to promote conservation of these beautiful spaces so that they may be appreciated by generations to come. For more information and the complete event calendar, head to canberramodern.com.