Celebrating Innovative Design With MODA’s 25th Anniversary


Museum of Design Atlanta Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

By Sejal Bhima

Photo: Andria Lavine Photography

The city’s creative set gathered at the Museum of Design Atlanta last Thursday evening to celebrate the institution’s 25th anniversary. And in true MODA form, guests were treated to simple yet creative installations that paid tribute to innovative design throughout history. I was most taken with a timeline that compared design history with world history. For example:


1914: The American Institute of Graphic Arts is established; beginning of World War I 
1971: Nike swoosh logo is designed for $35; Watergate scandal 
1980: Architect Richard Meier designs the High Musem of Art; the floppy disk is introduced
1986: 3D printing is first developed; Chernobyl nuclear disaster 
1989: Opening of the Louvre pyramid; the fall of the Berlin Wall 


Photo: Andria Lavine Photography


But amid all the great cocktails, music, installations and conversations, the evening’s main highlight was a special presentation honoring visionary architect John C. Portman, Jr. His legacy includes AmericasMart, the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center and stunning atrium hotels like the Hyatt and Marriott in downtown Atlanta. His love for the city was palpable as he spoke about his accomplishments. “This is the greatest city in the world as far as I’m concerned, and I’ve been to most of them,” he said. 


Portman has certainly served as catalyst for innovation in Atlanta, so MODA decided to also honor other great designs that make our city a better place to live. For the past few months, the museum conducted an online poll featuring 25 local innovations. The top winners were announced at the party: 


5. The 1996 Olympic look. Created by Iconologic, the clean, simple designs took the global spotlight.


4. The Atlanta Beltline. This greenway is gaining national attention and positively impacting intracity movement. 


3. Living Walls. A non-profit that engages the community through street art. 


2. National Center for Civil & Human Rights. This landmark is acclaimed for its interactive exhibits. 


1. Renovation of Polaris. First brought to life by Portman in 1967, the revolving restaurant reopened this year after an extensive remodel by The Johnson Studio.
Photo: Matthew Wong


Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles congratulates MODA on its silver anniversary and looks forward to the next 25 years, and beyond!