The Modernist on a decade of making a magazine

As the Modernist celebrates its 10th anniversary, the team behind the publication discuss the trials and tribulations of running an indie mag and how it has stood the test of time

Founded in 2011, the Modernist is a joyous celebration of 20th century architecture and design. Born out of the Manchester Modernist Society, from the beginning the magazine’s focus has been on untold and undiscovered stories – from a housing block in Paris to a public toilet in Accrington. Aside from gaining high profile supporters such as writer Jonathan Meades and musician Johnny Marr, over the course of the last decade the magazine has also established its own publishing arm, expanded into bricks and mortar with a bookshop and gallery, and has been behind campaigns to save buildings and artworks across the region.

Alongside co-founder Maureen Ward, editors Jack Hale and Eddy Rhead are the committed people responsible for bringing the Modernist to life for the last ten years. Describing themselves as “enthusiasts rather than experts”, the team launched the quarterly publication after realising that there was a small but loyal group of fellow enthusiasts who would be willing to read what they had to say. “At the time there wasn’t a conduit for the very niche interests that we had, it wasn’t being put out there, and the only way we could think of doing that was through a magazine,” Rhead explains.

Top: Reststops, Gori, Gorgia, J Mayer Architects, photo by Jesko M. Johnsonn-Zahn. Above: The Modernist team outside its Manchester bookshop

The Modernist team have experienced a huge amount of goodwill from the creative community over the years. An array of designers have committed their time to the publication, resulting in a continually evolving aesthetic, while its expansive list of contributors include artist Mishka Henner, designer Craig Oldham and photographer Darmon Rich, to name just a few.