Tracey Thompson

Product Design Leader, SF Bay Area

Public Memorial

How can public art foster community dialogue around a tragic event?

Working Sketches

While our task was to create a memorial to the victims of the September 11th attacks, the preliminary research done by my design team reveled most students did not feel a memorial was appropriate on our campus.

To address this challenge, my team and I designed a space to serve the community in the event of any kind of situation that called for a community response. This would include events ranging from those that impact only the local community to those felt by the entire world.

We proposed a slate structure that would allow students to write messages in chalk on its walls. Rain falling on its angled walls would wash the messages away. The act of reading, writing, and renewing messages was intended to raise awareness of thoughts and feelings within the community and promote dialogue between viewers.

Ideally student groups would volunteer to update information written on the memorial and sponsor community awareness events at the site using the campus response to September 11th as a precedent.