the modernist is...

a magazine - published quarterly since 2011. "the modernist offers unique perspectives on 20th-century architecture and design. With its pages full of bus stops, B-roads and concrete — you won’t find any swaying fields of wheat here. But don’t be fooled by all the municipal mundanity; warm and endearingly nerdy, this is an unconventional but nonetheless idyllic picture of Britain. In these strange times, there is solace to be found in the quiet fanaticism of this magazine." (Stack Magazines)


‘Exploring under-appreciated 20th century architecture, design and what goes on behind the walls of buildings we may pass every day: these are some of the key aspects of the approach of The Modernist. Seeing beyond the oft-peddled narratives of ‘industrial greatness’ and Victorian imperialism, The Modernist considers recent history as a ripe time of culture, creativity and innovation – deserving recognition of its own. The Modernist looks into life behind the scenes of streets and skyscrapers, celebrating everything from market places and urban estates to motorways’  Emily Oldfield

a shop – not just on-line but in in real life too. Our bricks and mortar shop opened in May 2019 in central Manchester and is the only bookshop in Manchester specialising in architecture and design. Our focus is modernist architecture, graphics, typography, transport, furniture and product design. Alongside the books we have a specially selected range of modernist products from cushions to mugs and from chocolate to shiny spoons. It’s also #modernistHQ with our office upstairs, our library, gallery and event space holding regular exhibitions. 

a publisher – our publishing arm was established in 2011 with the modernist magazine. It has now developed into a small press, publishing limited editions about 20th century architecture and design. All current publications are available here.

part of the modernist society  a not for profit Community Interest Company, which we originally founded as The Manchester Modernist Society in 2009 as a creative community, its social wing is its ‘Chapters’ all organising tours, lectures and gatherings. There are currently Chapters in Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham Leeds and Swansea.  The Modernist Society is dedicated to celebrating and engaging people with twentieth century architecture and design, through publishing, events, exhibitions and creative collaborations.

The Modernist Society is very grateful for the support it has received from the GMCA Foundational Economy Innovation FundKey Fund; the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund and from the Social Enterprise Academy through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Many thanks also to HighRise Communications for their valued advice and support.

Thanks also to BDP for their generous support of our talks programme.