ISC/Urbanism+Landscape promotes the research, documentation and protection of modern ensembles and environments, as opposed to individual ‘setpiece’ monuments. In practice, our current work focuses almost exclusively on research and documentation.
- The Modern Movement placed a special emphasis on the creation of planned ensembles and landscapes, integrating individual buildings of all kinds within an open, collective, egalitarian spatial and social totality, in reaction to the hierarchies and divisions of 19th-century architecture. The task of ISC/U+L is to ensure that this important aspect of Modernist ideology and practice is fully reflected in DOCOMOMO’s recording, conservation and dissemination work.
- As our double title indicates, our work balances a concern for ‘urbanist’ ensembles dominated by buildings and built structures, and ‘landscape’ ensembles in which designed spaces and reshaped natural environments are the main concern. In both cases, in true Modernist fashion, we are interested in both realised examples and in plans and proposals.
- Our work embraces not only exemplary or visionary Modernist initiatives, or plans by elite design leaders, but also everyday urban and spatial ensembles expressive of the modernist dedication to mass building ‘for all’.
- As with all other DOCOMOMO-International committees, we in U+L are concerned both with documentation and conservation. However, the balance that we adopt between the two is fundamentally conditioned by the greater difficulty of preserving often degraded and unpopular collective groupings, as opposed to individual monuments. Although we will participate to the full in appropriate ‘watchdog’ work, in the face of demolition threats, in many cases large-scale, systematic or thematic recording may be the only realistic option.
- Accordingly, we place particular emphasis on systematic proselytising and inventory work, including thematic conferences and studies, or database initiatives – as exemplified, for example, in our research initiative and pilot image library on post-1945 mass housing.