There are many amazing architects and designers whose work sadly remains unnoticed due to the lack of exposure and presence outside of certain circles. With Modernism Week well underway, the traveling exhibition "The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley" makes its debut in California's unmatched modernist getaway, Palm Springs. Housing one of the largest collections of modernist architecture and landscape architecture, the exhibition of Kiley's work during Modernism Week is an appropriate fit.
The practice may not receive as much praise or recognition; however, the importance of landscape architecture was emphasized thanks to the works of esteemed designers such as Kiley, Caldwell, and Jensen. The beautiful blend and appreciation of horticulture, ecology, art, and design are what these incredible designers sought to create. The history of landscape architecture can be dated back to Europe in the 18th century when royal families hired designers to transform the grounds and landscape of their homes. Since then the profession has progressed and turned into an amalgamation of its historical roots with an immersion of sustainable practices and land preservation.
Many notable landscape architects dabbled in various architectural styles; however, it's Dan Kiley who transformed the practice through his take on the modernist style. With more than a thousand projects under his belt, one of his most significant works, which reflects his genius as a modernist landscape designer is Miller Garden. Constructed in 1955, Kiley collaborated with architects Eero Saarinen, Kevin Roche, and interior designer Alexander Girard to create an exemplary representation of the modernist design. Set to dismiss the current trends of American household design during the early half of the 20th century, the Miller House and Garden allowed for Kiley's design aesthetic to truly shine.
Since then, Kiley has transformed outside spaces and turned them into iconic landscapes. Other works include the Kimmel Residence in Connecticut, Fountain Place in Texas, and the South Garden located in the Art Institute of Chicago. Having collaborated with the likes of I.M. Pei and Louie Khan, Kiley is one of Modernism's unsung heroes. When speaking on design Kiley felt that the human connection to nature should never be forgotten. "Should not the role of design be to reconnect human beings with their space on their land?"
The exhibition features 27 of Kiley's most notable projects through the United States and in Paris, accompanied by 45 photographs showcasing his work. Located at UC Riverside's Palm Desert Center, Dan Kiley's work will be on display from now through April 19th.
Can't make it to Modernism Week? View the exhibition online here.
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