Nine ways you can support Modernism while social distancing

Author

Michele Racioppi

Affiliation

Docomomo US staff

Image details

If you're looking for ways to support issues you care about while also adhering to social distancing, here's a list of nine ways you can help Docomomo US continue to preserve our modern heritage. Many of these items could also be applied to other historic preservation organizations as well. 

1. Add sites to the Explore Modern register

Docomomo US encourages members, colleagues, scholars, students and architecture buffs to submit new buildings and sites to the Explore Modern project. Compile basic pieces of information and submit it to us. Submissions will be reviewed and published based on appropriateness by Docomomo US staff. 

2. Add to our list of designers

In addition to sites, Docomomo US also has a database of designers. You can help us improve it by submitting a photo and short write-up of a modernist architect, landscape architect, or designer. If you are submitting a site to the Explore Modern register, make sure all the people affiliated with the project are included in the designers list. Information can be submitted to info@docomomo-us.org

3. Reformat old news articles

Docomomo US has an archive of online news articles going back almost a decade. As the website has changed over the years, the original formatting and images for many of these articles has been lost. We'd love to be able to share these articles with the public once again. If you're interested in helping restore these articles, contact us at info@docomomo-us.org

4. Develop a wishlist of landmarks

Are there sites you know of that should be landmarked but aren't? Channel your inner Santa Claus - make a list, check it twice, and send it to us!  

5. More specifically, make a wishlist of 70s landmarks

The 70s turn 50 in 2020, making many more modern sites eligible for local, state, or national register listing. One of the challenges of preserving the recent past is knowing what's out there - and part of our job is to find out and document it (that's what the "Do" in Docomomo stands for, after all). What 1970s sites should be on our radar? Let us know!

6. Prepare local or regional landmarking requests

One of the most important tools in the preservation toolkit is local landmark protection, and now that you've made all those lists, you know where to start! Let's use this time wisely and get to work preparing landmark applications for signifant, but as yet unprotected, modern sites.

7. Scan and send us your old photos or slides

Old photos are both fun and important pieces of historic documentation. Scan and send us your old photos or slides and we'll add them to the Explore Modern register listings and share them on social media.

8. Have a piece of writing that was never published? Polish it off and send it to us

We'll also accept presentations adapted as articles and older articles not widely published that have been spruced up for current use. Articles will be shared on our website and in our newsletter. 

9. Share your drawings of modern places

Whether you're experienced in architectural drawing or just want to give it a try - art can be uplifting in times like this, so we'd love to see what you come up with! Even if it's just a "napkin sketch" - you'll be in good company. Tag us on social media and we'll reshare. 

If you have other suggestions for productive ways to stay engaged and help preserve modern sites from the comfort of home, our email is always open. We'll keep adding to this list as we get more ideas.