SPOTLIGHT: Docomomo US

For 25 years, Docomomo US has been dedicating their work to the preservation of modern architecture, landscape and design and being a national voice for preserving that often-threatened heritage. Through advocacy, education and documentation, their mission is to provide leadership and knowledge by demonstrating the relevance and importance of modern design principles including the social context, technical merits, aesthetics and settings of these important pieces of American history. Docomomo US' mission guides all efforts to promote public interest in and understanding of modern architecture and design by communicating information, exchanging ideas, supporting advocacy issues and sharing techniques with architects, educators, students, enthusiasts and the general public.

As the United States chapter of Docomomo International, this non-profit is led by a national Board of Directors and staff that represents a union of regional chapters across the country that share its members' knowledge of and enthusiasm for modern architecture and design. Docomomo US is committed to the principle that modern design merits the attention and preservation longtime received by earlier periods.

Docomomo US Board of Directors at the Miller House in Columbus, Indiana (2015)


Docomomo US works to document and promote outstanding, unusual and noteworthy examples of modern heritage through the ever-expanding online register of significant modern sites in the United States. Relaunched on an updated website as the Explore Modern project in 2017, this inclusive catalogue is a one-of-a kind resource that provides information about historic modern sites, biographies of modern designers and descriptions of the styles of the modern era.

Docomomo US provides educational public programming such as the annual Docomomo US National Symposium, which offers one-of-a-kind lectures, events and tours, and allows local communities to highlight significant examples and contributions to the modern movement. Held in a different location each year to showcase different parts of the country, the 2019 symposium was held in Honolulu, Hawaii and the 2020 symposium will be held in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Why the AT&T Building Matters
Why the AT&T Building Matters 


The Docomomo US Tour Day program thematically coordinates Docomomo US chapters, affiliated friends and individuals across the country to plan a special modern-themed tour each year in the fall. Tour Day continues to be significant annual event with more than fifty (50) tours in thirty (30) cities.

Docomomo US recognizes excellence in preserving modern heritage through the Docomomo US Modernism in America Awards. The Awards recognize those building owners, design teams, advocacy efforts and preservation organizations or individuals that have made significant contributions to retain, restore and advocate for the aesthetic and cultural value of such places.

 

Docomomo US Executive Director, Liz Waytkus, and sponsors of the Hawaii Symposium (2019)

Docomomo US acts as a watchdog when significant sites are in jeopardy by coordinating with local advocates, developing communication strategies and advocating for their appropriate protection and preservation. Docomomo US highlights local issues to a broader national audience, placing them in the larger context of threats to modern resources and highlighting shared themes and issues that are affecting communities throughout the country.

As a previous workstation group at NPC in 2001, as well as a user of our meeting rooms, we are pleased to present Docomomo US as our October Spotlight. Please visit our website for a full list of our workstation and meeting room groups.