COLLABORATOR: Birmingham Modernist Society
STUDENT GROUPS: BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch Architecture
PROJECT TYPE: field research, mapping
The Modernist Society was founded in 2009, with the Birmingham chapter emerging in 2016, a critical period for the future of our modernist architectural heritage in the city. The overall purpose of the Birmingham Modernist Society is to raise awareness and appreciation of Modern (C20th) architecture & the urban environment, and related Modern art and design, in Birmingham and the surrounding region.
Birmingham Modernist Society intends to fulfil this purpose by:
- devising, commissioning and delivering creative (contemporary art) projects and publications
- organising informal educational activities including walks, talks and debates
- disseminating information
- raising awareness of ‘at risk’ buildings, structures and spaces
- organising social activities for members
The Society is primarily a creative project (rather than a conservation group) – raising awareness and giving a focus for those interested in the architecture and design of the period (and sometimes widening out to cover popular culture or other things that are of interest to us). The society is involved in campaigns and listing, most recently contributing to call to evaluate and protect some of our most at risk post WWII buildings, including Smallbrook Queensway by James Roberts and John Madin’s Chamber of Commerce.
Part of the conversation with Historic England was about how much public interest, support and understanding there is for such buildings, often measured by how much published material there is on the subject(s). The intention of this project is to devise, procure, design and launch a printed map of Birmingham’s celebrated (and less known) modernist architecture. The project involved field and archival research, design and photography, and preparation of funds and material for printing and distribution. We will work with other creative partners in developing this with the aim to deliver a map during 2018.
The full range of blog posts in the development of the map can be found here.