Meet the 2019 Mod Squad

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Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@meganmckean

Megan McKean is a designer, illustrator & author with permanently itchy feet, and she has the honor of kicking off the 2019 iteration of our annual Instagram Takeovers! Megan is a Mod Squad veteran, and is best known for the contemporary souvenirs and travel-inspired pieces she creates her label McKean Studio. Her distinctive illustration style is colourful, cheerful, and full of the details that make you want to visit cities around the world. Living by the Eames mantra to “take your pleasure seriously”, her love for mid-century design, travel, clever colour palettes and hidden details can be seen in all of her work.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@meganmckean

"Getting a peek inside so many jaw-dropping homes during Modernism Week is what we keep coming back for year after year! Seeing inside the home of famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy was an experience I’ll never forget." - Megan McKean

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@meganmckean

"The colours of Palm Springs are always a huge inspiration for my work, and where else can you get such a vivid hit of colour but at the Saguaro Palm Springs?! 🌼 The iconic colours of the desert wildflowers are the first thing I think of when it comes to Palm Springs." - Megan McKean

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@meganmckean

"The cars in Palm Springs are like ice-cream flavours; do you feel like mint or chocolate today? 🍨" - Megan McKean

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@meganmckean

"Shopping in a rainbow dream at the beautiful Fine Art of Design store is a Palm Springs highlight for me. 🍭 I love collecting treasures from my travels to bring back home to Sydney, and I always find something special at the Fine Art of Design." - Megan McKean

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@afashionnerd

Amy Roiland is a Los Angeles based designer, cat mom to Davos Gucci and editor of A Fashion Nerd. She launched the blog in 2013 to showcase her love for rainbow hues and 60’s style. Prior to creating A Fashion Nerd, she worked as a model, designer, PR executive and photographer. Inspired by Jane Birkin and Chantal Goya, she is no stranger to knee high socks, collars, berets and big eyewear. Amy believes the most important part of style is to always have fun and add a little something quirky to every look. Amy has worked with brands including Free People, Jeffrey Campbell, DipnDots, Alice and Olivia, Trident, and Desigual. She has been featured in Vanity Fair (Mexico), ABC’s Shark Tank, Fashion Fix Daily, Fashionista, and many more.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@afashionnerd

"Modernism is clean lines." - Amy Roiland

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@afashionnerd

"Modernism is a pop of color." - Amy Roiland

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@afashionnerd

"Modernism is structurally pleasing." - Amy Roiland

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tomwindeknecht

Tom Windeknecht is a photographer, content creator, and Instagram influencer living in Redlands, California. Tom’s colorful and fun minimalist style captures the eyes of various brands, keeping him busy with creative collaborations to produce vibrant product photos and playful stop-motion animations. For two years, he has been a Google Ambassador for their award-winning Google Pixel phones and is a member of Google’s #teampixel. Tom’s work has been shown in museums, blogs, magazines, and at various pop-up shops throughout the United States.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tomwindeknecht

"For me, Modernism is such a classic expression. It is one of the few styles that will always be in style. I like the clean lines and form, the architecture, and the thoughtfulness that was put into the design." - Tom Windeknecht

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tomwindeknecht

"I'm a minimalist at heart, so I feel a special connection to the Modernism style. I think they both go hand-in-hand. There are so many distractions in life, that it's nice to be in an environment that removes those distractions - that helps us to focus on being present and in the moment." - Tom Windeknecht

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tomwindeknecht

"Modernism takes us to a time when things were classy and sophisticated. The design is unique and individual - not cookie-cutter. Modern homes have curbside appeal and catch your eye. Doors are colorful and extraordinary. Color is encouraged!" - Tom Windknecht

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tomwindeknecht

"I grew up in Phoenix and there was a fantastic mid-century modern culture there. Breeze blocks and asymmetrical profiles can be found throughout the valley. I enjoyed the visually appealing architecture. That's what I love about Palm Springs! It feels like I am home." - Tom Windeknecht

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@amandagnwn

Amanda Gunawan is an architect based in Los Angeles. She graduated from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, worked under Thom Mayne at Morphosis and then went on to start her own firm OWIU (an abbreviation for The Only Way Is Up) Design (@owiudesign). Her work, like the firm’s name, specializes in design that is progressive. On the side, she photographs and writes, documenting primarily food and her travels at @amandagnwn.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@amandagnwn

"Modernism is Le Corbusier, period. Thank you for paving the way for all of us. (Villa Savoye, Poissy)" - Amanda Gunawan

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@amandagnwn

"Modernism as a human-centric philosophy can often be accused of being static. Luis Barragan disproves this by incorporating light and color to evoke emotions. (Casa Gilardi, Mexico City)" - Amanda Gunawan

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@amandagnwn

"Modernism is keeping it clean, like Mies. (Farnsworth House, Plano)" - Amanda Gunawan

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@amandagnwn

"Modernism is not about entirely dismissing the dogma of tradition but oftentimes the ability to incorporate it with functionalism and taking it to new levels the way Aalto does it. (Alvar Aalto studio, Finland)" - Amanda Gunawan

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@amandagnwn

"Clean lines don’t always necessarily mean corners and straight edges. Modernism is shifting paradigms of planar surfaces whilst incorporating comfort at the same time. (Egg chair, Hans Wegner)" - Amanda Gunawan

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@amandagnwn

"Modernism is doing away with fluff and going straight to the point, even when it comes to a religious space. Tadao Ando knows his stuff. (Buddha on the hill, Sapporo)" - Amanda Gunawan

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@acid_free

As Corporate Archivist at Herman Miller, Amy Auscherman spends her days immersed in one of the greatest collections of modern design in the world. Trained in rare book and art libraries, she began her career at the Indianapolis Museum of Art working with the archival collection of the Miller House and Garden, a modern masterpiece in Columbus, Indiana designed by Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard. Amy serves as an editor of Herman Miller's WHY Magazine and is an author of the forthcoming Phaidon book Herman Miller: A Way of Living — which chronicles the evolution of company’s designs and the stories of the legendary people behind them. Amy’s work has been covered in Architectural Digest, Curbed, Fast Company, and Cool Hunting.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@acid_free

"Albert Frey is responsible for some of the most notable modern architecture in Palm Springs. His longtime personal home, Frey House II (1964), is situated within the San Jacinto Mountains and offers stunning views of the Coachella Valley. Its design was intended to have as little impact as possible on its surrounding environment, with Frey even incorporating a mountain boulder as a room divider. He also used everyday materials like cement block and corrugated aluminum to create a dreamy yet practical modernist retreat. The home is now part of the Palm Springs Art Museum collection." - Amy Auscherman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@acid_free

"Hugh Kaptur’s Taquitz Plaza (1974-1977) is an adobe modernist masterpiece. The building was almost demolished, but thanks to the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, it instead was renovated and is now again a vibrant business plaza. The building was designated as a Class I Historic Site and provides many photogenic angles! Don’t miss it." - Amy Auscherman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@acid_free

"Richard Neutra’s most famous commission came from Pennsylvania department store tycoon Edgar J. Kaufmann. Kaufmann’s other house: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Built in 1946, the Kaufmann Desert House blends perfectly into the surrounding landscape and can be seen from the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour." - Amy Auscherman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@acid_free

"A. Quincy Jones designed Sunnylands estate for Walter and Leonore Annenberg and the home was completed in 1966. My favorite details? The pink roof! And the pink bricks that are present throughout the landscape." - Amy Auscherman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mrdanielhan

Over a decade ago, Daniel Han bid adieu to his cubicle in the corporate world to pursue a creative career in photography, and founded Snapmotive. As a professional wedding photographer, he has shot nearly 200 weddings and flown over 200,000 miles across the globe. His Instagram feed is filled with stunning vistas captured from his travels, showcasing the beauty of the natural and built environments. We're looking forward to seeing Modernism Week through his eyes when he joins us in Palm Springs as a part of our official Mod Squad!

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mrdanielhan

"Modernism to me means taking the simplest of forms and creating interest through well curated and minimalistic compositions." - Daniel Han

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mrdanielhan

"Modernism to me means letting the quality of the materials speak for themselves - you can create something not only aesthetically pleasing, but highly functional." - Daniel Han

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mrdanielhan

"Modernism to me means taking risks and escaping tradition. Be colorful. Be bold." - Daniel Han

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@jenniferyoungstudio

Jennifer Young is a lifestyle and portrait photographer based out of Los Angeles and New York City. She delights in photographing interesting people doing interesting things, collaborating with fellow creatives and city hopping while doing so. Infusing her calm and collected style into photographs and sharing the essence of a person, place, or thing is one of her greatest joys.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@jenniferyoungstudio

"Modernism to me is thinking outside the box." - Jennifer Young

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@jenniferyoungstudio

"Modernism to me is experiences over things." - Jennifer Young

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@jenniferyoungstudio

"Modernism to me is only the essentials." - Jennifer Young

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@cb

Eric Petschek’s photography work reflects his designs with a strong focus on composition, light, and architectural details. His passion for photographing the work of notable and emerging designers and architects has recently led him to Mexico, Belgium, and Portugal.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@cb

"In my eyes, Modernism is essentially the pursuit of transparency." - Eric Petschek

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@cb

"Literally, evident in the prodigious use of glass walls..." - Eric Petschek

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@cb

"...and in the interiors where open floor plans became in vogue." - Eric Petschek

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@cb

"But also figuratively, with modernism's focus on honest, simple materials and construction techniques." - Eric Petschek

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@handmadebysarakim

Sara Kim is the founder and designer behind HandmadeBySaraKim, a creative studio based in Riverside, CA. By day she teaches violin and piano, but by night her DIY skills get put to work. Her bespoke creations range from exclusive pieces for Anthropologie's BHLDN wedding line to macrame plant hangers and intricate botanical arrangements (unless you look closely, it's hard to believe they're made completely of paper)! We are inspired by the way Sara transforms ordinary, every day materials into extraordinary designs - much like the Desert Modernists!

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@handmadebysarakim

"Modernism to me is to "learn from yesterday, absorb today, and be better tomorrow." It is the idea of learning traditions, respecting the classics and through trial and error, making it better and new." - Sara Kim

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@handmadebysarakim

"Modernism is to absorb today through trial and error, making it simple but detailed." - Sara Kim

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@handmadebysarakim

"Modernism is to be better tomorrow with revision and progressing." - Sara Kim

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mattcrump

Artist Matt Crump is known internationally for setting color trends through his minimalist compositions and bold use of candy hues. He was named one of America's top 50 Instagrammers by TIME Magazine, and has been recognized by Pantone, BuzzFeed, MTV, and others for sparking the #candyminimal movement.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mattcrump

"Modernism is taking something old and making it new. This lifeguard station was transformed into an American icon by simply painting rainbow stripes onto it." - Matt Crump

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mattcrump

"Modernism is escapist. Marc Ange reimagines the jungle in "Le Refuge," giving a break from reality for anyone underneath it." - Matt Crump

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mattcrump

"Minimalism is modernist. Ellsworth Kelley's "Austin" captures the essence of a temple with just a few basic shapes and primary colors." - Matt Crump

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mattcrump

"Modernism is self-consciousness. The medium, materials, and method are features of the work, rather than means to an end." - Matt Crump

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mattcrump

"Modernism is progress. The betterment of society through invention, experimentation, and scientific innovation are all pillars of modernist thinking." - Matt Crump

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@katwesterman

Kat Westerman is a fine artist and commercial photographer based out of Los Angeles whose work has been exhibited worldwide. While she travels all over for her shoots one of her favorite places to go is Palm Springs especially during Modernism Week.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@katwesterman

"Modernism means to me: structural lines and shadows." - Kat Westerman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@katwesterman

"Modernism means to me: unexpected sources of light." - Kat Westerman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@katwesterman

"Modernism means to me: beautiful details." - Kat Westerman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@katwesterman

"Modernism means to me: floor to ceiling windows." - Kat Westerman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@katwesterman

"Modernism means to me: unexpected pops of color." - Kat Westerman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tessaneustadt

Tessa Neustadt is a multi-talented creative in Los Angeles specializing in interior and architecture photography; shooting for large clients like Target and Anthropolgie as well as designers like Amber Interiors and Emily Henderson. With a strong passion for design she also works as a stylist and designer. When she's not working she can be found hiking with her dogs Jack and Olive or antique shopping for her online home decor boutique.

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tessaneustadt

"Modernism inherently breaks the norm. It is fresh and new; fleeting and subjective by nature. I think of inventors, scientists, and artists of the past who were breaking away from tradition, pushing boundaries and sometimes living on the outskirts of society because of this." - Tessa Neustadt

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tessaneustadt

"I often think about how everything in our lives was modern at some point. Glass windows, toothpaste, electricity! refrigerators!" - Tessa Neustadt

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@tessaneustadt

"The Neutra VDL Studio is a great example of modernism to me. Originally built in 1932, it was an experiment and a new vision for urban living. The entire house was designed around a concept that went against the grain. Neutra envisioned multiple families cohabiting while still maintaining privacy. He had an intercom system built-in before the actual technology was developed, built-in kitchen appliances, etc. When you step foot in the house, you can feel it was very modern for its time." - Tessa Neustadt

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mccalmanco

George McCalman is an artist and creative director based in San Francisco. Trained as a philosophy-focused fine artist at St John’s University, the Caribbean-born designer has had a 14-year editorial magazine career before opening the doors of his creative branding studio McCalman.Co in 2011. In 2016, he resuscitated a dormant fine art calling and began obsessively illustrating, dreaming and painting everything he saw. The monthly Observed column, which he writes, designs and illustrates, debuted the same year. Additionally, George teaches graphic design and illustration at California College of the Arts.

Source: Jason Madara
Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mccalmanco

"I've been based in San Francisco for the last 20 years, so my view of Modernism has been shaped by my semi regular visits to Palm Springs and Los Angeles. (Featured: Moments taken from my monthly column #ObservedSF. I’m obsessed with how people express themselves with what they choose to wear, their body language and how they communicate with each other.)" - George McCalman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mccalmanco

"I could talk about the physical aspects of modernism, but I'm more interested in the philosophy that led to its growth. I appreciate the concept of outgrowing traditional norms in architecture, design, and literature, that inspires a new movement in how we, a culture regards our aesthetic choices, and the context behind those decisions. (Featured: Moments taken from my monthly column #ObservedSF. I was obsessed with Maysoun’s jacket. The patchwork! The colors! Her lipstick!)" - George McCalman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@mccalmanco

"In the physical realm, getting the chance to do a concentrated dive into Modernism in Palm Springs has me excited to listen to the talks, see the architecture and nerd out on the design. (Featured: Moments taken from my monthly column #ObservedSF. San Francisco is a sea of cafes and people working on their laptops. This was observed at the Mill, a popular place for people sipping coffee and nibbling on toast.)" - George McCalman

Meet the 2019 Mod Squad
@ benjamincritton

Benjamin Critton rounds out this year's Mod Squad as one half of Norma Studio, founder of the new "Sad People in Modernist Homes in Popular Films" zine, and a designer in residence at the Saguaro Palm Springs during Modernism Week. Keep an eye out on his Instagram feed (@benjamincritton) for plenty of design inspiration.

The Mod Squad is a group of inspiring (and modernist-loving) creatives, tasked with the mission of capturing Modernism Week through their eyes. 


Each year, we look forward to discovering Modernism Week through the eyes of our Mod Squad. The diverse and dynamic mix of creatives always lend a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the hundreds of events in February, and we’re especially excited to see how they experience all the modernist fun in 2019!

In the weeks leading up to Modernism Week, you’ll get to know a different Mod Squad member with a fun Modernism Week Instagram Takeover, as they share what modernism means to them.

Click through the gallery to see what modernism means to each of this year’s #PSModSquad, and follow along as they share more from behind the scenes at Modernism Week February 14-24, 2019.

@acid_free
@afashionnerd
@amandagnwn
@benjamincritton
@cb
@handmadebysarakim
@jenniferyoungstudio
@katwesterman
@mattcrump
@mccalmanco
@meganmckean
@mrdanielhan
@tessaneustadt
@tomwindeknecht

Cover illustration by Megan McKean
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