Docomomo invites architects, researchers, historians and other parties involved in the process of preservation, conservation, renovation or transformation of modern towns and buildings to investigate on the theme: The Survival of Modern - From Coffee Cup to Plan. The proposed theme gives an opportunity to discuss modernist architecture and town-planning from a holistic point of view. The concepts of space and scale in modernist architecture are challenged in an age of new ecological and economical needs for more building density and energy-saving technical solutions. The theme also builds on and adds to the themes of previous Docomomo conferences.
The concept of space in architecture and town planning has changed radically during the last hundred years. The modernist vision of townscape opened up the closed urban surroundings of the 19th century with dramatic consequences. The introduction of new building materials and pre-fabricated building techniques influenced the architecture whereas the uses of zoning in dividing urban landscape to separate functions and neighbourhood-unit concept in organizing suburban areas led to a new paradigm in urban planning.
All this has had a great impact on us, not only from architectural point of view, but also through changes in the relationship between nature and the built environment, development of urban infrastructure, and developments in environmental psychology and its uses and misuses in planning. The four sub-themes examine the concept of space and design in four different scales and offer views on how the fundamental urban qualities of modernism can be preserved and what they have to offer for contemporary planning.
What is a good living environment? What is the sense today of preserving modern heritage?
Points of interest: environmental psychology, scale, urban density, nature and environment, challenges of sustainable development, landscape architecture, architecture of the infrastructures, (preservation of modernist heritage).
How to protect and improve modern urban space?
Points of interest: the ideal of openness and the contemporary requirements for sustainable development, ecologically and economically motivated requirements for density, challenge of sustainable urban planning. The form of the modern city in the scope of a social responsible approach.
Where to draw the line between the architect's intention and the preservation of realized building? Points of interest: open floor plan, the ideal of flexible space and the anticipation of the future needs in relation to original arrangement of spaces and original interior program, questions of conservation in situations of shifting purposes/function, everyday environment and its changes, Techniques and constructive issues regarding durability and change.
How to preserve modern interior designs and furnishings?
Points of interest: total work of art, innovation in details, the preservation of hardware, built in furniture - loose furniture, balance between the interior and its surroundings, the detail scale and the concept of global design.
Espoo is part of the greater metropolitan Helsinki area and parts of the conference program are held over the capital region. The Conference is hosted by the City of Espoo and Espoo City Museum and realized in collaboration with public and private organizations, the principal ones being the Alvar Aalto Foundation, the City of Helsinki, Museum of Finnish Architecture, The National Board of Antiquities, the Architectural Department of Aalto University, the Ministery of Culture and Education and the Ministery of Environment.
The Conference coincides with the Helsinki region being the
World Design Capital 2012, with numerous events and exhibitions dealing with
design in all its aspects.
Timo Tuomi, Finland Organizing Committee
Carlos Eduardo Comas
Timo Tuomi, Chair of the Conference
Leena Makkonen, Chair
Leena Hiltunen, Vantaa City Museum
Maija Kairamo, The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library
Juulia Kauste, Museum of Finnish Architecture
Esa Laaksonen, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Tommi Lindh, Ministry of the Environment
Anne Mäkinen, Helsinki City Museum
Aino Niskanen, Architectural Department of Aalto University
Satu-Kaarina Virtala, Icomos