Get with the times at Modern Phoenix Expo - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Get with the times at Modern Phoenix Expo

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Mandy Zajac writes and edits arts, entertainment and lifestyle content for the Get Out section of the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-6818 or

Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 5:19 pm, Tue Jul 24, 2012.

If you hadn’t noticed, mid-century design is modern again.

From “Mad Men”-inspired clothing by Banana Republic to 1960s-style decorating tips from magazines like House Beautiful, the design style characterized by clean lines, sleek finishes and graphic details is making a resurgence, bringing back the feel of architecture, interiors, fashion and art created from the 1930s through the 1960s.

You can dive headfirst into the fad at Saturday’s Modern Phoenix Expo, going on 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

There, a “Modern Marketplace” will feature more than 20 vendors offering goods and services related to home renovation, historic preservation, landscape design, furniture and jewelry. They’ll also be giving away door prizes, including the last pair of tickets to a sold-out tour of 13 local homes built between 1952 and 1962.

There are also a number of presentations and slideshows, most free of charge. Highlights include:

• An 11:30 a.m. workshop on researching a mid-century home or neighborhood using local resources and archives of popular 1950s-’60s magazines and newspapers.

• Practical tips and illustrations from four design experts at 12:30 p.m. on making sustainable choices for your own mid-century remodel.

• A slide show at 4 p.m. with Allan Wright Green, great nephew of artist Rose Pauson, on the building of the Pauson House (a.k.a. Shiprock, after it burned to ruins), conceived in the 1940s via long-distance correspondence between Pauson and famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

• A tour of Paolo Soleri’s 1959 Cosanti complex with Soleri’s assistant Roger Tomalty. 9 a.m. Saturday at Cosanti Foundation, 6433 Doubletree Road, Scottsdale. Admission is free, but RSVP to (928) 632-6225.

• An “Ultimate Tour of the Hotel Valley Ho,” a hip Scottsdale resort designed in 1956 and rehabilitated in 2004. The tour includes a look at a condominium penthouse, plus discounts for the on-site Café ZuZu and the VH Spa. 10 a.m. Saturday at the hotel, 6850 E. Main St. Tickets ($19.56) and reservations are available at (480) 499-8587.

Another notable event, “A Night with Nelson,” features a retrospective of the 50-year career of George Nelson, who some consider, along with Charles & Ray Eames, one of the founding fathers of American modernism. His work includes concepts for the first modular office storage system, the first L-shaped work desk, the Marshmallow Sofa, the sunburst-style wall clock and other paradigm-shifting pieces. It takes place 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Design Within Reach, 4821 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. It’s free, but RSVP to (480) 970-8800 or via email to

Modern Phoenix Expo is 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. For information, visit

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