2020 is challenging us on various fronts beyond crazy architectural details and a worldwide virus without a cure. Now racial awareness issues have again come to the forefront and have challenged us to be better as a nation and as a people.
Architectural details are not a new thing, just tools to help solve functional problems, ideally with aesthetic benefit.
Viruses are not a new thing either. But most of us have not experienced this level of interruption to our daily routines from the threat of sickness.
And now the topic of racial diversity is before us front-and-center. How our differences affect all levels of the life experience has become a most urgent focus society-wide.
Is it possible to put all of these things together to make a difference and help spur positive change?
As we ponder how we can help, many of our “solutions” center on the things we know. For us, that is urban planning and architecture.
Is there any learning from the past that can help guide us? Perhaps. One particular effort comes to-mind. We dusted-off this thesis project from 1992 to see what motivated us to tackle similar issues almost 30 years ago.
Unification Memorial: Catalyst for Social Change – A learning resources center specifically attempting to raise awareness and shape views of past and existing racial diversity in the United States.
Is it naive to think that the process and result of creating a significant socially-conscious multi-purpose civic resource (a building) can serve as a “catalyst for social change”?