Our Great Great Wall
collaboration with Jurassic Studio w/ Jennifer Park & Norman Teague of Blkhaus Studio

Spring 2018

Displayed at AIADO 10 event for SAIC's Architecture, Interior Architecture & Designed Objects department.

The wall – an item of separation, division –  a partition between two things.  A threshold between one side and another.  But the wall is also an assemblage of parts.  A collection of self-similar units that only work when supported by another.  Without the wall there would be no built environment.  Just like without people we would have no politics. “Our Great, Great Wall” will gauge the political stature of our built environment. Our designed spaces have long held symbolic significance.  They reflect our attitudes, needs and desires of the time.  But cultural perceptions change and so follows our use of space or at least our understanding of its worth.  Sites once honored are now sites of dissent.  Designs once esteemed are now sites of protest.  Building as happy backgrounds to a family picture are now backdrops to the middle finger. “Our Great, Great Wall” is a reminder of the inherent political significance of our designed objects and spaces.  “Our Great, Great Wall” is a call to action for designers to use forms and spaces to participate in the political discourse.  “Our Great, Great Wall” is a site of diversity and collectivity as the building blocks of beauty. It reminds us of the political significance of our designs.  It is a call to action to use forms and spaces to participate in the political discourse.

 

It was through the process of surveying that led to gathering people’s opinions and perceptions of these politically contentious buildings. People were asked to pair a word, an emotional response

Empowering

Dynamic

Lively

Collective

Inviting

Peaceful

Hopeful

Constructive

Energetic

Overwhelming

Powerful

Inaccessible

Isolating

Controlled

Fragile

Tense

Distanced

Broken

Disempowering

Segregated

 

in response to a building

Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument

The White House

The Pentagon

US Capitol

Vietnam War Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Monticello

Statue of Liberty

World Trade Center

Guggenheim Museum

Empire State Building

Tribune Tower

Trump Tower

Ohare Airport

Jackson Park

Chicago Cultural Center

J.R. Thompson Center

Kluczynski Federal Building

Richard. J. Daley Center

 

It was these responses that were translated into patterns that were then applied to the blocks making a block equal to a response representative of an individuals voice and view. People were invited to take these bags as a memento to further emphasize the idea of healing and being