Architecture Sarasota’s 2021 MOD Weekend Honors the Legacy of Philip Hiss

The eighth-annual architecture festival will feature exhibitions, a symposium, kayak, walking and trolley tours, and social events.

By Staff Report September 9, 2021

The exterior of the Hiss Studio in Lido Shores.

Architecture Sarasota's three-day MOD Weekend, which kicks off on Nov. 12, will celebrate Philip Hanson Hiss’ cutting-edge architectural vision and how it gave rise to the origins of the Sarasota School of Architecture (SSA). The Sarasota School is a regional style of post-war modern architecture that emerged in and around Sarasota between 1941-1966. (For a quick look at the style in action, click here.)

Hiss was the pioneering developer behind Lido Shores, where he applied his experience  living in the tropics to leading emerging architects to create innovative designs suited to Sarasota’s natural environment. Hiss expanded his architecture patronage by leading the Sarasota County Schools building program, which was featured in Time magazine in 1958. He was also among the founders of New College, where he secured I.M. Pei—who designed the Louvre pyramid—to build dorms for the new school.

“Celebrating the legacy of Philip Hiss gives us the opportunity to share the origin story of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Hiss’ massive contributions to our community—intellectually, creatively, aesthetically—are a microcosm of his impact nationally as a thought leader engaging with forward-thinking colleagues across the country, from Alfred Barr to Walter Paepcke to Margaret Mead,” says Anne-Marie Russell, executive director of Architecture Sarasota.

“His visionary pedagogy wove the discourse of technology, education and design together in a way that presciently helped pave the way for future initiatives," Russell continues. "His rich and varied contributions, including his war-time service, provide extraordinary inspiration to us all.”

The festivities kick off Thursday with a private Champagne reception for Architecture Sarasota Circle-level members. Friday night welcomes guests to a party under the banyan tree at Hiss Studio in Lido Shores. Saturday begins with the morning symposium and an afternoon of walking, trolley and kayak tours. The inaugural Hiss Dinner on Saturday night will celebrate the launch of Architecture Sarasota and the new Hiss Award. Tours will continue on Sunday.

Ticket will be available to the general public, Monday, Sept. 27. Advance tickets sales to Members begin Monday, Sept. 20. To purchase tickets and view the full program, visit

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