C20 #3 2020

The Twentieth Century Society was founded in 1979, as a direct response to growing interest in C20th architecture and to complement the preservation work of the Victorian Society, which was founded in 1959.

From day one, our focus has been on preservation and education: campaigning to protect the buildings and design that characterise C20th Britain; helping as many people as possible to appreciate their importance and beauty.

Today, we are involved in a number of important campaigns, all of which involve our experts, members, volunteers and supporters. We undertake casework related to planning applications for listed buildings, as we have a statutory role in the planning system.

My C20 Detail is a special issue of our C20 Magazine. The publication is about looking closely at 20th Century architecture and design via the eyes of an eclectic mix of architects, designers, photographers and writers who shared their favourite detail of a building or object designed in the 20th Century with us. As Charles Eames said: ‘The details are not the details. They make the design.'

The ‘delightful bronze brackets’ in a London furniture store, a ‘triangular-coffered ceiling’ in a Los Angeles residence, a ‘drainpipe in a block of flats’ in Florence, a ‘wet riser outlet/pressure regulating valve’ in every lift-lobby of the Barbican Estate, and the ‘space-age numbers’ in the entrance of a building in Sheffield are just a few of the striking details included.

The individual features encompass buildings and objects people remembered; they captured details of places no longer accessible or even existing, and brought reminders of easier travelling times. Thanks to the generosity, kindness and discerning eye of our 50 contributors including Elain Harwood, Rosemary Hill, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Mandy Payne, Barnabas Calder, Margherita Manca, Johny Pitts, Andrew Cadey, Roberto Conte, Benjamin Jay Shand and Alan Powers – My C20 Detail has become an inspiring account of how these features, so varied in size and function, can affect our understanding of C20 architecture and design.

82 pgs, 30 × 24 cm, Softcover, 2021