Society will tend to toss around the word Modern in many ways. For purposes of this talk on design I will localize Modern to the 20th and 21st century. When we talk about modern building design there a large range of buildings constructed in the 20th and 21st century that reflect this idea. When we speak about modern residential design in California and the city of Los Angeles we can perhaps point to the case study homes during the post war housing boom that used new fresh ideas of the time, blending no fuss aesthetics, new materials, functionality and various styles. Even before 1940 we see a strong sense of classic Southern California indoor outdoor living arrangement where nature was simple a sliding glass door away. With temperatures in the mid 70's for the bulk of the year most people can agree that the climate has geared and informed the design and lifestyle in this area.
During the mid 1980's Los Angeles started to garner an international presence as a global city for design and development. Local architects like Frank Gehry started designing major projects abroad while others like John Lautner and Bart Prince made unique local significant residential designs. In Los Angeles the influences of Japanese culture, Spanish styled buildings, and Mediterranean villas mix together a pastiche of color so rich and vibrant that it can overwhelm the senses. While some other cities have a stylized vernacular and design aesthetic and deviation from that local design atheistic can be met with staunch aggression. By contrast, Los Angeles has made it clear that most anything can be done: A virtual testing ground for architectural ideas and a melting pot of design.
California has always been on the forefront of invention and exploration. The established history of commerce and economy even in slow times has made for continued growth and new building.
Today we see more than ever a new crop of emerging designers and architects eager to generate new ideas. The information age has fueled unprecedented growth in all sectors during the early 2000's and now as we start to edge into the 2020's we will see new architectures that will inform the population and be informed by the population. The future is indeed bright.