Get ready for some deep dish - we're headed to Chicago!


As Docomomo US celebrates is 25th anniversary, we are headed back to where it all began, Chicago, Illinois. It was in 1995 that a group of volunteers gathered during the first Preserving the Recent Past conference to set in motion a Docomomo chapter in the United States. As we look back on 25 years of preserving modernism, we hope you will join Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Chicago for a deep dive of where we've been and what challenges lie in store.


June 3-6, 2020
Chicago, Illinois.


Join us for the 2020 Docomomo US National Symposium where we explore our thematic vision which views innovation and change through the lens of the modern movement. Experience Chicago's history and the prospects for the recognition, interpretation, preservation and extension of these forms and ideas of modernism in the middle of America.

Call for Papers

Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Chicago invite researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts involved in the process of preservation, conservation, renovation or transformation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement to investigate the theme: “Crossroads of Modern America”.


The site of Chicago has been recognized as a crossroads between the Great Lakes-St Lawrence River and Mississippi River watersheds by visitors and settlers since the earliest human presence. It has been further recognized as a crossroads for its place at the intersection of architecture, culture, and technological change. The rapidity of Chicago’s growth and innovative progress in the context of the modern movement suggests an opportunity for the 2020 meeting of Docomomo US to consider this history, its role in the forms and ideas of modernism in Mid-America, and analogous examples across the country.

The notion of “crossroads” reflects not only physical intersections within a place, but also a place in time where change itself has a rippling effect. Throughout the modern movement innovations have blossomed at these intersections. Periods of rapid growth, resettlement, or other aspects of cultural change have often fostered opportunities for innovations in new materials and methods. The purpose of this theme is to analyze such innovation and change through a broad lens of the modern movement. The theme may have applications to building technology, building typologies, urban planning, landscape design, advocacy efforts, and the allied arts. It may also apply to intersections within cultural, educational, racial, and gender "networks".

How have transformations in cities and metropolitan communities evolved to adapt the means and methods of preserving the modern? Are we currently at a Crossroads? Can contemporary issues of sustainable and "smart" cities, connected communities, and resilient regions support this preservation? What level of intervention within the often-narrow confines of preservation is needed to extend the lifespan of the modern built environment?

Several sub-thematic sessions, consisting of three papers each, will be constructed based upon submitted and invited papers. This will be followed by 20 minutes for discussion. Each paper should be in English and take no more than 20 minutes to present.

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts must be sent in English to by Monday, January 13, 2020 5PM Eastern and include the following required information:

  1. Title (65 characters max) & Abstract (400 words max);
  2. Authors information (Name, University/Company/ Organization, Country, phone, address);
  3. Biography (200 words max).


Call for papers will be open through January 13, 2020.

Accepted participants will be notified in February 2020. Participants will be expected to convey their information through a visual presentation. A first draft of the presentation will be expected in March 2020. Speakers will receive a reduced registration rate for the Symposium.

Travel and Accommodations

Registration for the Symposium opens in early 2020. Additional information including travel and accommodations will be available shortly. 


Sponsorship Opportunities

Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Chicago invite you to join us as a supporter for the eighth annual Docomomo US National Symposium. Promote your business to a local and national audience and celebrate Chicago's unique architectural fabric. From modern aficionados to seasoned design professionals, participating as a sponsor of the National Symposium offers unique access to a community of taste makers and influencers who are keenly focused on mid-century design. Each event has opportunities for sponsorship, with each level of sponsorship offering varying levels of acknowledgment for your support. 

Sponsors are encouraged to register their sponsorship by January 15th to be included in the initial Symposium registration announcement and all subsequent Symposium communications.


The Docomomo US National Symposium is the primary event in the United States for professionals to discuss and share efforts to preserve modern architecture and meet leading practitioners and industry professionals.

The Symposium developed as a result of the Docomomo US Board of Directors’ annual “Face to Face” meeting. The first expanded event took place in Los Angeles in 2010 with an open forum for local individuals actively engaged in the discussion of modern architecture. Docomomo US hosted its first National Symposium in Sarasota, Florida in April 2013. Held annually, this multi-day conference seeks to engage local participants in cities across the United States, offering participants the ability to interact with and explore a wide variety of significant modern architecture and sites.