Structured Collaboration: Vermont’s Rural Modernism – lecture, 2015
Marie S.A. Sorensen spoke on Friday June 5 at the 2015 DOCOMOMO-US Annual Symposium in Minneapolis, MN – Modernism on the Prairie. Sorensen’s talk built on the 2014 two-day tour of modernism in Vermont she co-led with State Architectural Historian Devin Colman. This tour was covered by Amy Lilly, reporting for Vermont Journal Seven Days, and Don Kreis, writing for Vermont Digger (‘300 Miles of Modern Architecture in Vermont’).
Structured Collaboration: Vermont’s Rural Modernism
Abstract: Rural ways of making are self-reliant and self-built – and use and re-use available materials. Over the course of the twentieth century, Vermont saw a unique expression of rural modernism founded in intentional communities centered around design and building. While academic elites instigated these movements, they did so in rural areas and attempted to learn from and share with their neighbors. These intentional communities attracted college-age students seeking a dramatic re-definition of values based on physically-engaged making and building. The movements’ leaders were charismatic peer teachers whose building agendas and expository style created a structured experience of collaboration in construction and intellectual development drawing on academic and local traditions of experimentation.