Beyond Mod: After Venturi, What is the Future of Postmodernism?

In September of this year, postmodernist starchitect, Robert Venturi passed away. Venturi once said: "Less is a bore," which appropriately describes the ethos of Postmodernism. Film Director, Jim Jarmusch also wrote: "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination... Originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it." Post-modernism unabashedly borrowed from previous architectural styles to create its own reaction to the austerity and sterility of modernist architecture. Sometimes described as "kitschy" and "playful," the style found fertile ground in California, in suburban office parks and downtown shopping malls. This webinar will answer some key questions through three unique case examples of postmodernism in California:
  1. What is Post-Modernism and what are its character defining features?
  2. Who were major practitioners in California?
  3. What are the most iconic examples of Postmodernist architecture in California?
  4. Where is most likely to be located (geographically & property type.)
  5. Why is it often “unloved”?
This webinar will look at what to preserve and how to preserve postmodernism, including the challenges of this whimsical and unique style of architecture that often used ephemeral construction materials. Case examples will include:
  •  San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): Venturi, Scott Brown, (1995);  Speaker: Heath Fox, La Jolla Historical Society
  • Kresge College, UC Santa Cruz, Charles Moore, 1972-1974;  Speaker:  Andrew Wofram
  • Horton Plaza, Jon Jerde, 1985; Speaker: David Marshall
The webinar will close with a panel discussion and questions.


  • Daniel Paul, Senior Architectural Historian, ICF
  • Heath Fox, Executive Director, La Jolla Historical Society
  • Andrew Wolfram, LEED AP, AIA, Principal TEF Design
  • David Marshall, Principal, Heritage Architecture & Planning
  • Jonathan Vimr, Planner, City of San Francisco
  • Diane Kane, PhD, California Preservation Foundation