Trig Modern Celebrates Mid-Century Designers During “Thirst4Architecture”

NC Modernist Houses

Dutch designer Hella Jongerius’ reinterpretation of
Alvar Aalto’s 400 and 401 Armchair for Artek.


April’s NCMH networking event for Modernist design enthusiasts

TRIG Modern, Raleigh’s premiere Modern furniture showroom at 328 West Jones Street, will present “An Evening with Alvar, Adrian, Milo and Vladimir” when the store hosts North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH’s) “Thirst4Architecture” networking happy hour on Thursday, April 17, from 6-8 p.m.. A celebration of mid-century designers, the event is free and open to the public.

Emilie Huin of Coldwell Banker, a specialist in Modernist real estate throughout the Triangle, is the series sponsor for all 2014-2015 T4A happy hours, which provide opportunities for modern design enthusiasts to mix, mingle, and make strategic connections. The host business provides refreshments and other entertainment while attendees build relationships, create strategic alliances, and make new contacts.

For the April T4A, TRIG Modern’s owner, Bob Drake, will spotlight iconic mid-20th-century modern chairs designed by Finnish architect, sculptor and painter Alvar Aalto; American architect and furniture designer Adrian Pearsall; American furniture designer and 2009 Interior Design Hall of Fame inductee Vladimir Kagan; and North Carolina-based Thayer Coggins’ premiere designer Milo Baughman. Examples of each designer’s chairs will be on display in the showroom.

In keeping with the evening’s Mid-Century theme, Drake’s sister will cater the event, serving up classic 1950s and ‘60s dishes.

“The best thing about hosting a T4A event,” Drake said, “is being surrounded by a bunch of like-minded folks who appreciate Modern design.”

Opened in 2012, TRIG Modern is the only showroom and design service in downtown Raleigh that specializes in modern furniture and lighting in tandem with an eclectic blend of compatible furnishings and accessories, including Mid-20th Century items and a throw pillow collection that Drake designed himself.

“TRIG is a very different kind of showroom,” Drake said. “We combine both new and vintage furniture, kitchen and bath, lighting, original art and objects.”

Drake noted that the store’s new line of modern kitchen systems will also be on display that night. For more information on TRIG Modern, visit

NCMH is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state. For the dates and locations of future T4A events, go to

NCMH Now Accepting Applications For Project BauHow 2015-2016


North Carolina high schools that offer drafting classes to 9th and 10th graders are invited to apply for CAD computers.

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) announced today at the Wake County Schools Design Blitz that it is accepting applications from public high schools statewide for its 2015-2016 educational initiative, Project BauHow.

NCMH’s Project BauHow (Bauhaus + Know-how) supports high school education by providing desktop computer-aided design (CAD) computer systems and software to ninth and tenth graders in drafting classes in rural North Carolina.

Drafting classes are imperative for students who are interested in pursuing careers in architecture (among other professions). Yet, as NCMH Director George Smart explains, “Depending on their locations, up to 60 percent of North Carolina high school students are in families without the means to provide a CAD-level computer at home. For students who are interested in careers in architecture, or any kind of professional design, high school drafting classes simply can’t provide enough class time to achieve the proficiency, or portfolios, required for college. This severely limits their career opportunities, especially in rural areas.”

With these donated computer systems, drafting teachers can assign homework and students can practice CAD at home as much as they want.

Click here to view a video about Project BauHow from Douglas Bird High School in Fayetteville, a 2015 Project BauHow school.

Later, with class instruction, students will test their knowledge through an NCMH-sponsored design competition. The winner from each Project BauHow school receives a scholarship to North Carolina State University’s highly regarded summer Design Camp in Raleigh.

Project BauHow schools are selected based on location and need, availability of drafting classes for 9th and 10th grade students, and drafting teacher initiative. The drafting teacher determines which students will receive the CAD systems for home use. Assignments are submitted on USB sticks so students do not need Internet access at home.

The 2015-2016 application forms are available on the NCMH website at Click on “2016 School Application.” The deadline for applying is May 15, but Smart encourages interested high schools to apply as soon as possible.

For more information on Project BauHow, including past recipients, visit

NCMH Sponsors First Design Blitz at Red Hat

A special event for Wake County Public Schools students and teachers

Red Hat's headquarters in downtown Raleigh

Red Hat’s headquarters in downtown Raleigh

On Thursday, March 5, North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) will sponsor Design Blitz, an all-day event for Wake County Public Schools’ 10th and 11th grade design students. The event will be held at Red Hat, a leading provider of open source enterprise information technology, in downtown Raleigh.

​[VideoNCMH Exec. Director George Smart on Design Blitz + Project BauHow]

NCMH is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promotion Modernist residential design across North Carolina. Executive Director George Smart explained why NCMH is leading the Design Blitz sponsorship:

“The Blitz dovetails well with Project BauHow, our initiative for 9th and 10th graders. Both programs focus on encouraging high school students to pursue careers in design. It’s our pleasure to participate.”

Elizabeth Luna, a teacher and certified Adobe education trainer at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, will lead a large design charette during the event.

Otherwise, students will work in small groups with industry professionals as they complete a design challenge: to define a  “creative person” and a “workspace,” then develop a prototype. According to Luna, the emphasis will be on the work process and student collaboration.

Following the challenge, students will engage with an industry panel to learn about architecture, industrial design, and graphic design careers. NCMH’s George Smart will be a member of the panel.

Design Blitz will culminate in a portfolio admissions presentation to help prepare students for future college admissions.

Design Blitz is only open to Wake County public school students and teachers. For more information on the event, contact Elizabeth Luna at

Red Hat is located at 100 E. Davie Street, Raleigh. For more information:

For more information on NCMH, visit

Eidolon Designs To Host March “Thirst4Architecture”

Eidolon's "Slider 1" overlay doors, handcrafted out of 100-year-old heart pine.

Eidolon’s “Slider 1″ overlay doors, handcrafted out of 100-year-old heart pine.

Featuring the fine woodworkers’ annual Oyster Roast

Eidolon Designs in Raleigh will once again host “Thirst4Architecture,” a networking event sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and Emilie Huin/501 Realty, on Thursday, March 5, from 6-8 p.m. Free and open to the public, Eidolon’s T4A event also includes the company’s annual Oyster Roast.

T4A events are opportunities for architects, artists, building managers, contractors, engineers, furniture dealers, realtors, and anyone else interested in Modernist residential design to connect and create strategic alliances in a casual environment. The hosts provide refreshments and other entertainment while introducing T4A participants to their businesses.

Located at 414 Dupont Circle in Raleigh’s historic Boylan Heights neighborhood, Eidolon Designs handcrafts fine furniture, architectural millwork, doors, kitchen, bath, and office components, media integration pieces, and sculpture. According to owners Ann Cowperthwaite and Mike Parker, who have supported NCMH events for many years, the Eidolon team members “are artists and craftsmen, not manufacturers.” The company is also committed to environmental sustainability, the owners said, making sure their source hardwoods come from certified tree farms, that their sheet woods are formaldehyde-free, and that all finishes are non-toxic. (Pictured below: Slider1 Overlay doors by Eidolon Designs, handcrafted out of 100-year-old heart pine

Those attending the March T4A will get to tour Eidolon’s workshop and speak with the owners and other Eidolon craftsmen while enjoying the oyster roast. For more information on Eidolon Designs visit

For more information on NCMH and the locations for future Thirst4Architecture events, visit

NCMH Announces 2015 Matsumoto Prize for Modernist Residential Design

Sponsored exclusively this year by Leland Little Auctions.

George Matsumoto

George Matsumoto

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) announces that the naming sponsor for the 2015 George Matsumoto Prize for North Carolina Modernist residential design is Leland Little Auctions, the Southeast’s premier estate auction gallery, based in Hillsborough, NC.

NCMH created the Matsumoto Prize in 2012 to honor George Matsumoto, FAIA, one of the founding faculty members of North Carolina State University’s School of Design (now College of Design). Matsumoto designed some of North Carolina’s most well-known and well-loved mid-century Modernist houses.

The Matsumoto Prize uniquely features $6000 in awards, a blue-ribbon jury of internationally known architects, and online public voting.

According to George Smart, NCMH Executive Director, “The Matsumoto Prize promotes new talent and provides motivating honors and incentives for a new generation of architects. It also contributes to wider public recognition of Modernism in all its forms — architecture, art, furniture, and fashion — and recognizes the significant economic and aesthetic impact of Modernism across North Carolina.”  LLittle Logo

Leland Little explained why his estate auction gallery stepped up as the exclusive sponsor of the 2015 Matsumoto Prize:

“We have admired the way that NCMH and George Smart have highlighted and recognized North Carolina’s wonderful cache of Modernist homes, generating appreciation of and interest in this aesthetic style. We are very proud to sponsor the 2015 Matsumoto Prize.”

The Matsumoto Prize is open to anyone with primary design responsibility for a completely built, from-the-ground-up, single-family Modernist house of at least 800 heated square feet completed on or after January 1, 2009. The house must be in North Carolina but the designer(s) can be from anywhere. There are no educational or licensure requirements for submission; the design speaks for itself.

NCMH will accept submissions May 1 until May 17. All submissions will be posted on the NCMH website for public voting to determine the People’s Choice winners.   Jury Awards are $3,000 first place, $2,000 second place, $1,000 third place, plus a trophy for each.  Winners will be announced July 16 during an awards ceremony at McConnell Studios in Raleigh.

For more information on the 2015 George Matsumoto Prize, go to

MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series: “The Vision of Paolo Soleri”

soleri-movieA documentary on the late Italian architect, environmentalist, philosopher.

The 2014-15 MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series, hosted by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and sponsored by Sarah Sonke of MODTriangle, continues Wednesday, February 4, at 7:30 p.m. with a special screening of “The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet In The Desert” at Full Frame Theatre, American Tobacco Campus, in downtown Durham.

Directed by Scottsdale filmmaker Lisa Scafuro, the 2013 documentary explores Italian architect ad environmentalist Paolo Soleri’s unprecedented artistic quest.

Soleri (1919-2013) came to America in 1946 to meet and mentor under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, Arizona. After a year and a half, Soleri left Wright to embark on a blazing original course of his own that drew people from Jimi Hendrix to Buckminster Fuller to listen and learn from the artist, philosopher, and architect.

Soleri explored the countless possibilities of human aspiration. His most outstanding endeavor is Arcosanti, an urban laboratory constructed in the Arizona high desert that focuses on innovative design, community, and environmental accountability. “Arcosanti attempts to test and demonstrate an alternative human habitat which is greatly needed in this increasingly perplexing world,” according to the Arcosanti website. Arcosanti also exemplifies Soleri’s “steadfast devotion to creating an experiential space to ‘prototype’ an environment in harmony with man.”

The film took seven years to complete but Soleri was able to view a rough cut on his final birthday in 2012. According to the Arizona news site AZCentral, Soleri enjoyed the film and gave it his approval, telling Scafuro “Bravo.”

(To view a movie trailer on YouTube:

All tickets to the film are $10 at the door. Space is limited so movie goers are encouraged to arrive early. Full Frame Theatre is located within the American Tobacco Campus at 320 Blackwell Street, #101, Durham, NC 27702.

Blueplate PR in Raleigh is sponsoring this special screening. Series sponsors include The Kitchen Specialist, VMZinc, Palette & Parlor, and MdM Historic Consultants. For more information on NCMH and the entire 2014-15 Architecture Movie Series visit

Ambiente To Host February’s “Thirst4Architecture”


A networking event for fans of Modernist design.

The Ambiente Collection, a showroom of contemporary and modernist furniture in Raleigh, will host the “Thirst4Architecture,” a networking event sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and Emilie Huin/501 Realty, on Friday, February 27, from 6-8 p.m.

Free and open to the public, T4A events are opportunities for architects, artists, building managers, contractors, engineers, furniture dealers, realtors, and anyone else interested in Modernist residential design to connect and create strategic alliances in a casual environment. The hosts provide refreshments and other entertainment while introducing T4A participants to their businesses.
Ambiente started as a Scandinavian furniture store 30 years ago. Today, the store represents contemporary and modern furniture from over 200 manufacturers from around the world.
The Ambiente Collection is located at 10700 World Trade Boulevard off I-40 West in Raleigh (919.572.2870). For directions, visit

For more information on NCMH and the locations for future Thirst4Architecture events, visit



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers