Docomomo US National Symposium
Detroit, Michigan - June 9-12, 2016

The fourth annual Docomomo US National Symposium in Detroit, Michigan looked at the diverging design and theory of the late 1970 and early 1980s by examining its leading architects and designers and their iconic architectural contributions. Beyond Modernism sought to broaden the discussion and expand our understanding of how those examples fit into the discourse of modernism.

The symposium included lectures by leading architectural historians, architects, educators and our first ever audience-interactive debate: "Beyond Modernism?." Lectures took place in the Minoru Yamasaki-designed McGregor Memorial Conference Center and the DeRoy Auditorium Complex on the campus of Wayne State University. 

Event overview:

  • Twelve speakers from across the United States discussing Michigan's extensive contributions to the Modern Movement and what lies beyond modernism
  • Eight exclusive tours offered by Preservation Detroit of modern sites and buildings throughout the greater Detroit region including the GM Technical Center, Lafayette Park, Cranbrook and treasures farther afield in Southfield, Ann Arbor and Grosse Pointe
  • Two special evening receptions including an opening reception at the Yamasaki-designed McGregor Memorial Conference Center and a closing party on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center

Special Guests

Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Michigan welcomed Ruth Adler Schnee and Henry J. Guthard will join us as special guests during the National Symposium.

Detroit Modernism Week

Symposium particpants spending more than a week in the area were encouraged to take part in See what Detroit Modernism Week 2016 from June 2 - 11.


Location: McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Wayne State University (No transportation)
6:00 PM Symposium Welcome
6:15 PM Keynote - Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America
7:15 PM Reception at McGregor Memorial Conference Center

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2016
Location: DeRoy Auditorium, Wayne State University (NEW! Shuttle bus will be available in the morning)
7:45 AM Welcome
8:00 AM Session 1 – Why Save New Formalism?
9:15 AM Break
9:30 AM Session 2 – Urban Renewal as Heritage
10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM Session 3 – Beyond Modernism? A debate.
12:30 PM Lunch (On your own)
1:30 PM Tours - Bus and walking tours for Friday
FR1 - General Motors Technical Center (Bus Tour)
FR2 - Yamasaki in the Cultural Center (Walking Tour)
7:00 PM Reception at Coach Insignia on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center

9:30 AM Morning tours (All leaving from the Renaissance Center)
SA1 - Downtown Detroit's Modernist Architecture (Walking Tour)
SA2 - Grosse Pointe Modern Masterpieces (Bus Tour)
Preservation Detroit Tours - Downtown, Midtown/Cultural Center and Eastern Market (Walking)
1:00 PM Lunch (On your own)
Afternoon tours (All leaving from the Renaissance Center)
2:30 PM SA3 - Mid-Century Explodes in Southfield, Michigan (Bus Tour)
SA4 - Tour Lafayette Park (Two walking tours will leave at 2:00 and 4:20)

SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2016
9:00 AM Day tours (All leaving from the Renaissance Center)
SU1 - Ann Arbor, Mid Century Modern Mecca (Bus Tour - lunch included)
SU2 - Cranbrook Modern to Contemporary (Bus Tour - lunch included)