Four finalists have been named in the “Memorials for the Future” design competition, launched to find new ways to create, experience and think about memorials in the nation’s Capitol. Competition sponsors on Wednesday announced the finalists, who were selected from a group of 30 semi-finalists by an 11-member jury.
The jurors originally planned to name three but ended up adding a fourth that they didn’t want to eliminate. The proposals were very different from each other, ranging from a series of oral histories of significant places, told by a “roving flock of bright parrot-like automated story tellers,” to high definition videos of national parks projected inside the Anacostia Metro station, to disappearing rows of cherry trees that would show the effect of climate change and rising sea levels.
The competition was organized by the National Park Service, the National Capital Planning Commission and the Van Alen Institute. The finalists will be asked to ask to take part in a research and design process that will lead to proposals for site specific memorials in Washington, D. C. A winner will be named on September 8. The finalists are:
American Wild: A Memorial (Courtesy of the National Park Service)
American Wild: A Memorial
Team: DHLS. Members: Forbes Lipschitz, Halina Steiner, Shelby Doyle, Justine Holzman
American Wild virtualizes the National Parks through an interactive, immersive installation. Using ultra-high-definition video, recordings of each 59 natural parks can be projection-mapped at full scale. Audio recordings heighten the visceral experience and establish emotional connections to the landscape. The memorial democratizes National Park access by creating an installation in one of the most economically and racially diverse neighborhoods in the nation’s capital. Full scale, immersive environment design expands access to both phenomenological experience and ecological understanding. In so doing, the memorial reinvigorates the ways in which we interact with the cultural and biological diversity of the American landscape.
Climate Chronograph (Courtesy of the National Park Service)
Team: Azimuth Land Craft. Members: Erik Jensen, Rebecca Sunter
A platform for witnessing rising seas, the Climate Chronograph is a living observatory for an unfolding global story. As seas rise, cherry trees die in place, becoming bare branched delineations of shorelines past. Over a lifetime, a visitor will experience the same place in its ever-changing condition, a legible demonstration of generational-paced change. This new memorial is continually becoming, and in doing so offers a new approach to monumentality. A light human hand sustainably initiates a profound pastoral meditation. This landscape chronograph marks both our vulnerability and our response. It records the challenges before us.
The IM(MIGRANT) : Honoring the Journey (Courtesy of the National Park Service)
The IM(MIGRANT) : Honoring the Journey
Team: Honoring the Journey. Members: Radhika Mohan, Sahar Coston-Hardy, Janelle L. Johnson, Michelle Lin-Luse
The experience of movement and migration is the elemental experience of what it means to be an American. Leaving home, hopeful and expectant, and meeting hostility and kindness, misunderstanding and acceptance. Overcoming obstacles fueled by ambition and resourcefulness. Making a new home among people familiar and strange. Immigrant experiences, including those of native peoples, are at the foundation of the national psyche. They are also experiences that divide our country and have been a part of our political debate since the country’s founding. THE IM(MIGRANT) is a proposal that responds to these ideas, reinforcing core American beliefs by unfolding and commemorating the varied journeys that grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and strangers have taken through the landscape of Washington, DC. It offers the visitor access to the experience of movement, of arrival, and of making a new home.
VOICEOVER (Courtesy of the National Park Service)
Team: Talk Talk. Members: Anca Trandafirescu, Troy Hillman, Yurong Wu, Amy Catania Kulper
VOICEOVER: histories, memories, and flights of fancy. VOICEOVER is a project that embraces a spirit of revisionism as a means toward a broader and more democratic form of national memorialization. Rather than a freestanding monument, VOICEOVER is a supplemental overlay that expands the original monuments’ meanings and extends the territory of possible memorial subjects deeply into Washington DC’s urban fabric. Fragmentary and dependent by nature VOICEOVER makes no claims toward cultural conclusions on historic events. Rather, VOICEOVER is a loud call to reawaken a nation to its relevant and multi-faceted pasts. It gives voice to the diverging understandings and conflicting perspectives of a multi-cultural society.