Modern Futures

Sustainable development and cultural diversity

The 18th International Docomomo Conference’s theme is “Modern futures: sustainable development and cultural diversity.”

This conferences aims to remark the exploration and development of new ideas for the future of a sustainable built environment based on the past experiences of the Modern Movement.

Salar del Carmen estate. Mario Pérez de Arce, Jaime Besa, 1960-1962. Photo: N/A Archivo de Originales CID SLGM, FADEU-PUC.
Copelec Building. Borchers, Bermejo and Suárez. 1961-1966. Photo: Andrés Téllez

The architecture of the Modern Movement spread throughout the world, and its realization in different places were sources of innovation, new knowledge, and creativity. The Modern Movement has often been considered in its unitary condition; histories and theories have traditionally emphasized its universal meanings. But in fact, it assumed diversity as one of its topics. Therefore, there are so many different kinds of modern architecture in so many places. The conference will be the moment to debate the legacy of Modern movement facing the difference, the diversity, and the need for a new global approach.

On the other hand, the promotion of modern heritage conservation requires the dissemination of techniques and methods, which can be adapted properly to different circumstances, places, and climates. Adaptive reuse is essentially the recognition of diversity, but at the same time it is a way for conservation to be accomplished in a sustainable manner. Sustainability involves material and energetic, as well as social and significance aspects. The United Nations goals for sustainable development give us a framework to think about the conservation of modern heritage associated with the needed global transformations.

Our commitment and knowledge on the conservation of modern heritage can partake of the international agenda in search of sustainability, considered in a broad sense. The world is becoming increasingly urbanized, and the reuse of the spaces created by the modern movement becomes crucial in the metropolitan environment, mostly because nature was introduced into the urban fabric, and the communities that inhabit it claim their right to a more inclusive city, as well as an improved quality of life. And the ensembles of the modern movement provide a better environment than the city that is being built today.