The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge Exhibit at MODA

Over the holidays I went home to Atlanta, and while there took a trip to the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA).  MODA first opened in 1993 as the Atlanta International Museum of Art & Design. In 2003 the museum made the decision to redefine the museum’s mission and direction and rebranded as the Museum of Design Atlanta. I was surprised to learn that bit of history, as I grew up in Atlanta and only learned of the museum while reading an article in Delta’s SKY magazine on my flight home last year. As a designer who likes finding inspiration at museums, I put MODA on my to do list during my visit to Atlanta this year.

The current exhibit, The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge, is both an exhibition and a competition. The exhibit pairs interior space and object designers to create vignettes. David Goodrowe and Tim Hobby of Goodrowe|Hobby serve as curators of the exhibit. The designers chosen for the competition represent the myriad of new directions of the Southern aesthetic. Tim Hobby explains “we envision each vignette as a distinct environment with many layers.”

Visitors to the exhibit are asked to vote on their favorite vignette after touring the spaces. The wining design duo will win a cash prize. The show runs from November 11, 2012 – March 31, 2013. If you have a trip to Atlanta planned during that time try to plan a visit, it’s an enjoyable experience. While the exhibit program gave details of the inspiration behind each design. I really enjoyed imaging my own stories of what was happening in each space, and it was fun to be able to cast your vote. My favorite was #3 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (below).

moda exhibit#3 A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Bobby Berk & Joe Manus

 Inspired by southern summer nights spent sleeping under the stars and dreaming of  future aspirations.

moda exhbit#5 Wicked Games by Nancy VanDevener & Amy Wikman

Inspired by the “idea of game playing as a way in which people come together. Whether social, political, sexual, or psychological, dialogue and change happen” through the games we play.

mod exhibit#6 Darkly, Deeply, Beautiful Blue by Chris Grossman, & Chris Buxbaum. Cake by Lisa Humphreys

“A story of mystery, irony sexuality,” takes place in a Parisian Salon, where a performer prepares to take the stage.

moda exhibit#16 Sound Lounge by Michael Habachy & Peter Soloman

Music lover, Michael Habachy created “a sexy and sophisticated modern lounge space that could be either Lenny Kravtiz or Prince’s music studio.”

Chandelier by featured participant Christopher Moulder

This chandelier was really cool. The center is made from 161 separately hung silk and Swarovski crystal “spears.” It’s a kinetic piece and the slightest air movement ripples the silk ribbons. Each crystal is the counterweight of the silk feather.



By Amy Lyons
Published January 6, 2013