06 March, 2013

A Design to Remember

by Lauren Setum, Allied Member ASID
The 'Women's History Month' theme this week got me thinking about designs (created by women) that have truly endured the test of time. One in particular came to mind for its powerful yet restrained concept that successfully paid tribute to an honorable group of Americans. The Vietnam Memorial was designed by Maya Lin and still captures the attention of current generations.

"Two black granite walls, placed below grade, engraved in chronological order with the names of the men and women who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. At the apex where the two walls meet, the dates 1959 and 1973 (marking the beginning and end of the war) "meet" thus closing the circle of the time span of the war. A returning veteran can find his or her own time upon the wall, making each one's experience of the memorial very personal and individual. The siting of the piece is directly related to the presence of both the Lincoln Monument and Washington Memorial, tying it physically and historically to the site." -mayalin.com

"Ms. Lin is represented by The Pace Gallery in New York City. Her architectural works have included institutional and private commissions, from a chapel and library for the Children's Defense Fund to the Sculpture Center's space in Long Island City to Aveda's headquarters in downtown Manhattan to private residences throughout the Country. Ms. Lin completed the design for the Museum of Chinese in America's new space in Manhattan's Chinatown, which opened in the spring of 2009. Maya Lin has been drawn to the critical social and historical issues of our time and addressed them in her memorials, including the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington DC, the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, AL, the Women's Table at Yale University. Currently she is working on the Confluence Project, a multi-sited installation spanning the Columbia River system in the Pacific Northwest that intertwines the history of Lewis and Clark with the history of the Native American tribes who inhabit those regions. With a critical eye toward the environmental changes that have rapidly occurred, Ms. Lin's Confluence Project has brought significant ecological restoration to six state and national parks along the Columbia River Basin. It is an ongoing project with three of the six sites completed. For more information visit www.confluenceproject.com." -mayalin.com