Docomomo US invites nominations for the 2018 Modernism in America Awards.


Now in its fifth year, the Awards celebrate the documentation, preservation and re-use of modern buildings, structures and landscapes built in the United States or on U.S. territory. The Awards recognize those building owners, design teams, advocacy and preservation organizations that have made significant efforts to retain, restore and advocate for the aesthetic and cultural value of such places.


Award Categories  


This juried award recognizes informed, thoughtful and creative design efforts to preserve, restore or adapt a modern building, structure or landscape of local, regional or national significance, securing its presence for future generations. Design Awards are recognized in the following sub-categories:


  • Residential,
  • Commercial
  • Institutional/Civic


This juried award recognizes exceptional efforts to document, inventory and/or create a preservation plan for one or more modern buildings, structures or landscapes of local, regional or national significance. Nominations may be submitted in the form of a website, book, publication, or exhibition.


Presented by the Docomomo US Board of Directors, this award recognizes outstanding efforts to preserve and advocate for threatened modern buildings, structures or landscapes of local, regional or national significance through advocacy efforts. This award seeks to recognize preservation and advocacy organizations and other groups (including Docomomo US chapters) who have gone above and beyond to work collectively and collaboratively to advocate for a modern site or structure. 



Early nominations must be submitted by 11:59 PM on February 2, 2018.
All nominations must be submitted by 11:59 PM on March 2, 2018.

Eligibility and Guidelines 

All Submissions

  • Buildings, structures and landscapes must be located in the United States or on U.S. territory and have originally been completed between 1940 and 1980. Please contact Docomomo US if you would like a building or site to be considered that falls outside of these parameters by emailing
  • Nominations must be the work of architectural design teams, preservation and/or advocacy organizations and persons located in the United States.
  • All submissions must demonstrate significance of the building or site if not listed on the National Register of Historic Places or recognized by local landmarking laws.
  • Submissions should have preservation as a core component of the treatment, design concept and/or strategy.
  • Special consideration will be given to submissions that showcase an informed, well-executed, thoughtful, creative and holistic approach to the preservation of modern architecture.

Design and Inventory/Survey Submissions

  • Preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of modern building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) must have been completed between January 1, 2013 and March 2, 2018.
  • For design projects, original construction materials and/or design intent must have been retained and/or restored. A significant loss of such may cause a submission to be deemed void.
  • It is strongly recommended design submissions include before and after photographs taken from the same vantage point.
  • It is strongly recommended design submissions include before and after floor plans where an addition or alteration has occurred. A site plan and/or section drawings can be included if relevant.

Advocacy Submissions

  • Advocacy efforts should have been completed between January 1, 2013 and March 2, 2018 with an allowance for advocacy that is on-going.
  • The building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) that are the focus of the advocacy initiative must have been threatened with demolition or significant alteration.
  • Advocacy efforts of multiple partners, persons or organizations that have gone above and beyond to work collectively and collaboratively are encouraged.

Lead Sponsor

Design Within Reach

Design Within Reach makes authentic modern design accessible. When the company was founded in 1998, the classics were very difficult to find. DWR changed that, making innovative works by iconic designers accessible for the first time and continuing to offer the best in modern design – past, present and future – ever since.

Learn more

Nomination Procedure

All nominations are to be submitted by email to A submission is considered complete once the below materials are completed and the submission fee is received.


  • Project Detail form

    Name(s) and contact information of the nominator(s), design team(s), client, and owner.


  • Narrative (up to 1000 words) 

    The narrative should address the significance of the building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s), and the character-defining features that influenced the content or design of the project. For Design projects, please exclude the name of the firm or design team responsible for the project in the text.

Design projects: describe the team's design process and approach; considerations, challenges or opportunities that influenced the project; as well as the treatment of materials, assemblies, finishes and interventions related to the preservation of the integrity of the historic fabric. The narrative should also include a clear description, illustrated by corresponding images, of the defining features and materials of the original design, additions (if applicable), and current design. Projects featuring lesser-known or regional architects or designers (original design team) should include a minimal amount of biographic background information.


Inventory/Survey projects: describe how the project contributes to the advancement of knowledge and awareness of modern resources; the realized and potential impacts of the project in regards to furthering the understanding and awareness of the contributions of modern resources to history.

Advocacy projects: describe the scope of the advocacy efforts, impact on the site and community and the result of the work. Advocacy efforts will be given equal consideration in the case of preservation, demolition and on-going efforts.


  • Photo Release Form

A photo release form and project detail form are required for a complete submission.


  • Images

  1. Minimum of six (6) images of the project subject, project itself, or a combination of the two. Image size must be at least 1MB.
  2. The first image is the project lead image. The lead image will be used by Docomomo US in all material related to the project. The image should be horizontal and at least 1MB.
  3. It is strongly recommended design submissions include photographs comparing the original design, modifications made over time, and the project's current state taken from the same vantage point. You may combine multiple images on one page.
  4. It is strongly recommended design submissions photographs correspond with the description of the project in the narrative.
  5. At least one image should be a relevant historic image.
  6. Descriptions of the images and image credits should accompany the files as either a Word document or PDF.


  • Floor plans/additional drawings

For design submissions, before and after floor plans where an addition or alteration has occurred are strongly recommended. A site plan and/or section drawings can be included if relevant.


  • Submission Fee

1. A $150 processing fee per nomination (waived for Advocacy Award) for submissions received by March 2, 2018.

2. Nominations received on or before February 2, 2018 will be extended an early discounted processing fee of $100 per nomination.

3. Processing fees can be sent ONLINE or by check payable to Docomomo US to PO Box 230977 New York, NY 10023.

2018 Jury

The jury will be announced as confirmed in the following weeks.


Winners will be announced in May 2018. The Modernism in America awards ceremony will take place in conjuction with the 2018 AIA Conference Wednesday, June 20 2018 in New York City at the Design Within Reach showroom. Save the Date! Registration will be available shortly.


Modernism in America projects are featured throughout the year in Docomomo US publications.




Thank you to our partners at Design Within Reach and Dwell and the program sponsors who made the 2017 Awards event possible.


Sponsorship opportunities are now available for the 2018 Awards. Learn how to become a MINIMALIST, MODERNIST, BRUTALIST, and LATE MODERNIST sponsor.


More information is available HERE



The Modernism in America Awards is the only national program that celebrates the people and projects working to preserve, restore and rehabilitate our modern heritage sensitively and productively. The program seeks to advance those preservation efforts; to increase appreciation for the period and to raise awareness of the on-going threats against modern architecture and design while acknowledging the substantial contribution preservation in general and the postwar heritage in particular makes to the economic and cultural life of our communities.