You may not be familiar with the work of Hawaiian architect Vladimir Ossipoff, but let us assure you: He won’t be underappreciated for long. A beautiful exhibition about Ossipoff’s masterful modern Hawaiian architecture, “Hawaiian Modern,” opens today at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. And last night, they opened their doors for a record-breaking crowd as fans, friends and former clients packed the galleries, swarmed the courtyards and lined up around the block. And we spotted guest curator architect Dean Sakamoto, current director of exhibitions at the Yale School of Architecture (and Hawaiian native who actually tried to score a job with Ossipoff back in the day), greeting every single person who came through the door, his shoulders laden with leis.
Members of Ossipoff’s family (the architect died in 1998) were also easy to spot due to the amount of tropical flowers strung around their necks, and what a pleasant surprise we had upon meeting Ossipoff’s granddaughter, Keira Alexandra, creative director at the Sundance Channel in New York, who’s also worked for Number 17 and M&Co., and was the thesis advisor for young design superstar Andrew Sloat (who we’ll be moderating at Designism 2.0 in a few weeks). See, the design world is small, even when you’re on a little island in the middle of the Pacific.
As the absolutely gorgeous catalog designed by Jenny Chan (above) started flying off the shelves in the gift shop, and glasses of bright pink punch were drained, we began to regret ever having to head back to the mainland. But our UnBeige readers in Honolulu should head over to the museum this Friday night for the local AIA’s Habitat party, from 6-9pm. And for those of you in the New Haven area or, say, Frankfurt, Germany, never fear: “Hawaiian Modern” will head your way in the next two years.
Photos and more amazing design connections right this way.