The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Remote Casework Week in Review #1

C20’s first ever virtual pre-casework meeting held with Zoom software

The C20 Casework team outlines their initial thoughts on working remotely.

Clare Price: I am quite used to working from home as I have done so for many years, at least for part of my week. The challenge has been sharing my workspace with a husband who is most definitely not used to the idea! But we seem to be coping better than I anticipated. At C20 Streetview and photographs sent by applicants or consultants have always been important tools for casework, but now they are essential as we can no longer go on site visits. I do miss being out and about meeting people and seeing buildings – especially as the weather has been so glorious – I even miss my commute into London (never thought I’d say that!) We are increasingly making use of creative ways to meet and discuss cases using the internet, which help a great deal. Unlike many professions, where there are predictions that virtual ways of working will permanently alter their jobs, I cannot see these taking over our work practices – face-to-face meetings and face-to concrete site visits are just irreplaceable.

Grace Etherington: We’re now into our second week of working from home and with the help of a few digital tools it now feels convincingly normal. We are even planning our first lockdown Casework Committee over video conference! Despite the likes of Remote Desktop, Slack and Zoom to ease the transition, there’s nothing that can replace our extensive casework library, which I am sorely missing. C20 is extremely lucky to have a full set of Pevsner’s Buildings of England (and Wales and Scotland) series as well as a few hundred books on architects, styles, typographies, materials and regions which are stored safely in Cowcross Street. And as usual I have a growing list of journal articles to find in the RIBA Library although it seems like it will be a while before I can return there. In the meantime online materials such as The UK Modern House Index, Modernism in Metroland and Modern Mooch have become more helpful than ever – and a great way to virtually ‘explore’ the country’s modern heritage from your sofa.


One response to “Remote Casework Week in Review #1”

  1. I so agree that despite the marvels of Zoom (which I’ve still not mastered) that there’s no substitute for seeing buildings – and this particularly applies to church interiors. 9th century and earlier churches often have fittings and glass of our period but you only discover that when you go inside. These are often not covered or only scantily in list descriptions and Pevsner’s (although newer ones better in this respect). Glad to see you noting the importance of Pevsner’s at Cowcross St which also cover Ireland with a new volume coming out shortly (Cork) and is complete as far as it goes including my donation of an out of print North Leinster.

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