How Do We Remember?

Monuments and memorials have been the focus of contentious conversations due to who and what they honor, and how their design memorializes the truth or often fiction of our collective past. Over the last academic year professors and students from an architecture school in the American South collaborated to conduct research and develop design processes for making public space and marking memory.

Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2022
First Award | Public Landscape (Concept)

Project Name: How do We Remember?: Public Space and Scrutiny
Project Category: Public Landscape (Concept)
Studio Name: Tulane School of Architecture Research Studio
Design Team: Students: Rachel Abrahams, Leah Bohatch, Hayden Boyce, Zachary Braaten

Hayley Burroughs, Tahlor Cleveland, Andrea Dan, Alex DiSimone, Kareem Elsandouby

Laura Isabel Gonzalez Rosemberg, Vivien Hartin, Camille Kreisel, Seth Laskin, Talazia Manuel

Andres Eduardo Perez Yepez, Malina Pickard, Bruno Soria, Miriam Taylor, Tiger Thepkanjana

Faculty:, Tiffany Lin, Dr. Lisa Molix, Emilie Taylor Welty
Area: Memorial and Monument Design
Year: 2022
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Consultants: Walter Zehner, Workhaus, PACE Engineering
Photography Credits: Catherine Restrepo, Jose Cotto

Text Credits: none
Other Credits: NORD, Friends of Lafitte Greenway, Researach funded by SOM Foundation

How do We Remember? Public Space and Scrutiny By Tulane University - Sheet2
©Catherine Restrepo, Jose Cotto

This project includes an investigation of existing monuments and exploration into more just and equitable spaces in New Orleans and beyond. Informed by our interdisciplinary research focused on racial bias and the built environment, this project also facilitates student action by encouraging young designers to imagine new ways of creating memorials in public spaces–new in process and in formal outcomes.

How do We Remember? Public Space and Scrutiny By Tulane University - Sheet3
©Catherine Restrepo, Jose Cotto

Intended to ignite critical conversation and curate a collective catalog of “monuments”, this body of work contends with the understanding that monuments exist everywhere. Recognizing that monuments and memorials are both public and private moments of remembrance and recognition – but with impacts that go far beyond the personal – How Do We Remember  is a question for our current times. When our symbols, spaces, and memorials are largely inherited from exclusionary and racially unjust histories, what does it mean to make a monument – one that is community-informed and socially just – for the now?

How do We Remember? Public Space and Scrutiny By Tulane University - Sheet4
©Catherine Restrepo, Jose Cotto

The Spring 2022 research studio worked with the Lafitte Greenway – a public park in the heart of New Orleans –to generate design ideas for new forms of public memory. At the location of a formerly segregated playground (one for black children, one for white) students constructed temporary engagement boards asking passersby to share their stories of the playground  and what they would like to see for the future of the site. Based on the engagement sessions, historical research, and precedent analysis, the design team proposed ideas for commemorating and activating the space with stories and memories from the people who once played there. Each round of design ideas was tested with stakeholder input and re-designs until a unified scheme was developed. What you see in this submission are process images and final renderings from this design investigation.

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