Foreign: Docomomo Us / June Symposium

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 17.37.58Docomomo US National Symposium
Detroit, Michigan – June 9-12, 2016

Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Michigan are pleased to announce registration is now open for the 2016 National Symposium Beyond Modernism? Moving the Recent Past Forward. The two-day symposium will look at the diverging design and theory of the late 1970 and early 1980s through examining its leading architects and designers and their iconic architectural contributions. Beyond Modernism seeks to broaden the discussion and expand our understanding of how those examples fit into the discourse of modernism.

The 2016 Docomomo US National Symposium in Detroit features lectures by leading architectural historians, architects, educators and our first ever audience-interactive debate: Beyond Modernism?. Lectures will take place in the Minoru Yamasaki designed McGregor Memorial Conference Center and the DeRoy Auditorium Complex on the campus of Wayne State University. For an early look at the symposium details including tour locations, visit the schedule page of the website. Event registration including tour sign up is now available through the link below.

As the only national event working to explore and build consensus on the preservation of Modernism, the symposium will bring together world renowned designers, scholars, students, and professionals from the state of Michigan and from around the country.


Why Save New Formalism?

June 10th – 8:30 AM – DeRoy Audiotrium, Wayne State
Two decades ago the legacy of New Formalism and its two major protagonists, Edward Durell Stone and Minoru Yamasaki, was uncertain and their place in modern orthodoxy was unclear. Now the source of advocacy efforts and recognized for their significance, is that still true today? When did that viewpoint change and is the New Formalist distinction relevant to Docomomo’s advocacy? 


Dale Allen Gyure is Professor of Architecture at Lawrence Tech University in Southfield, Michigan, where he teaches classes in architectural history and theory, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Goucher College, where he teaches American Architectural History and serves as Co-Director of the Master’s Thesis program. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. Dr. Gyure’s research focuses on American architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly the intersections of architecture, education, and society. His current projects are a book on Detroit architect Minoru Yamasaki and a study of postwar American high schools.


John Gallagher is a veteran journalist who writes about urban and economic development for the Detroit Free Press. He joined the newspaper in 1987. John’s other books include Great Architecture of Michigan and, as co-author, AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture.


Hicks Stone is the founder and principal of Stone Architecture, LLC. He opened his practice in New York in 1991 after working as a senior designer in the office of Philip Johnson and John Burgee Architects. Stone received his Master’s of Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 1983 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College in 1978. He has a national practice, currently based in Roxbury, Connecticut, with projects from Maine to Florida and the Bahamas to California. His firm’s principal focus is on the design of residential housing, retail boutiques and cultural facilities. Hicks is also a son of the famed late American architect, Edward Durell Stone, the architect of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has written a biography of his father for Rizzoli International Publications, Edward Durell Stone: A Son’s Untold Story of a Legendary Architect.

Urban Renewal as Heritage

June 10th – 10:00 AM – DeRoy Audiotrium, Wayne State
Detroit like many cities in America saw urban renewal as a way to bring aging urban downtowns into the 20th Century. One of the great capitals of the technological revolution, Detroit’s downtown area underwent proposals by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, saw large developments efforts such as the John Portman designed Renaissance Center (1977) and the rare Isamu Noguchi designed Philip A Hart Plaza (1979). As cities seek to regain their waterfronts and strengthen downtown cores, are these urban interventions significant today and how should they be saved in light of the fact that many have not been well maintained or are not in use as they were intended? 


June Manning Thomas, Ph.D., is Centennial Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. In 2003 she was inducted as a Fellow in the American Institute of Certified Planners. She is President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (2013-15). Her books include the co-edited Urban Planning and the African American Community: In the Shadows (Sage, 1996); Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997, second edition Wayne State University Press, 2013); Planning Progress: Lessons from Shoghi Effendi (Association for Baha’i Studies, 1999); the co-edited, Margaret Dewar and June Thomas, The City after Abandonment (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), as well as many articles and book chapters. 


Michael Poris, AIA, has spent most of his professional life dedicated to a resurgent 21st-century Detroit.  As a founder of McIntosh Poris Associates, Michael has directed more than 600 projects during the past 20 years—from developing multimillion-dollar homes, to rehabilitating Detroit’s landmarks, to designing some of the area’s most popular go-to destinations.  He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Michigan, studied modern architectural history at Yale University, and received his Masters of Architecture from The Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.  He’s worked with some of today’s leading architects, including many AIA National Gold Medal winners. Michael is a board member of various professional, cultural, conservation, and design organizations. 


Walter Miller, RA has been an important member of the John Portman & Associates (Portman) firm since 1987. An accomplished designer and planner, Mr. Miller directs the design team in resolving how to implement Portman design philosophy and vision into functional spaces. He has been a guest lecturer and critic at a number of prestigious schools, including the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture where he oversees administration of the Portman Prize, an award created for the purpose of encouraging the school’s graduate students to develop a holistic design approach that ties the big idea to the small detail. Prior to joining Portman, Mr. Miller was with the firm of Cesar Pelli & Associates, where he became a Senior Designer, responsible for schematic design and design development of major projects such as the World Financial Center/New York; and the Boyer Medical Research Laboratory building at Yale University.

Beyond Modernism? A debate.

June 10th – 1:00 PM – DeRoy Audiotrium, Wayne State
When Docomomo was formed in the late 1980s, the initial focus was on modern architecture dating from the period in between the two world wars, and was quickly expanded in scope to include the post-war period.  Now twenty-five years later, we face the next question: should Docomomo extend its period of interest to include the end of the 20th century and beyond or should it stay true to its original mission and advocacy solely for what was then defined as modern(ist) heritage? 


Mark Lamster is the award-winning architectural critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor in the architecture school at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has been recognized by the Associated Press for his writing, celebrated for his “beautiful mind” by D Magazine, which has named him the best critic in Dallas for three consecutive years, and lauded for his “sharp analytical eye” by the alt weekly Dallas Observer. In 2014, he received the David Dunnigan Media Award from the Greater Dallas Planning Council. He is the author of several books, and is currently at work on a biography of the late architect Philip Johnson, to be published by Little, Brown.


Meredith Arms Bzdak, an architectural historian, is a Partner in the Princeton, NJ firm Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of historic preservation, and has produced numerous documents pertaining to historic architecture.  As Associate Graduate Faculty at Rutgers University in the Art History Department, she teaches classes on the development of the modern city, the preservation of the recent past, and modern Italian architecture. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of DOCOMOMO US and DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State and is the author of Public Sculpture in New Jersey; Monuments to Collective Identity. She holds a BA in Art History from Mount Holyoke College and a PhD in Art History from Rutgers University.


Bob Meckfessel, FAIA is an activist architect with over 30 years experience in the planning and design of award-winning architecture and interiors projects, including mixed-use, retail, office, single/multi-family residential, urban design, and preservation. He is active in both civic and professional organizations, and has held the position of President of AIA Dallas, the Dallas Architecture Forum, Trinity Commons Foundation, and Preservation Dallas. He has also served, or is serving, on the boards of the Trinity Trust, Texas Society of Architects, the Texas Music Center, the Dallas Architectural Foundation, LaReunion TX, and DOCOMOMO US. Meckfessel lectures often on planning and design, serves frequently on awards juries, and writes occasionally. He is a LEED Accredited Professional. He was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects in 2007 and, in 2008, received the Texas Society of Architects Award for Community Service in Honor of James D. Pfluger, FAIA.
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