View Full Version : Ground Zero and the CUBE, a platform for a better future

a world citizen
May 20th, 2005, 05:59 PM
Why was the World Trade Centre twice chosen as a target to be attacked?

It was perceived as a symbol of America’s pride, success and arrogance and of capitalism and the Towers were by their sheer size and height easy to hit. It could be a grave mistake to create another similar type high-rise, which would be perceived to symbolize the above all over again, as if nothing was learned, and thereby to challenge another attack.

Instead we could build something which is a living testimonial to what happened and which symbolises the value of internationalism and becomes an icon for a desire to learn from what happened and to prevent a repeat. A beacon of hope for the future.


Imagine a super giant CUBE, transparent, with many CUBES inside it. Each internal CUBE dedicated to a theme, showing the international variety of practices, open 24 hours a day. CUBES for the visual and performing arts, books, clothing, body culture, health, music, food and drink, furniture & housing, religion & rituals, government systems, law practices, sports etc. Perhaps also include a hotel and conference facility.

Each internal CUBE a living, evolving place to get, share and exchange information and experiences and where one can possibly buy related goods or services. Not like an EXPO where each country displays its own identity, but showing and connecting with the amazing diversity we find around the world within any given theme. It could also help to preserve useful knowledge and practices that might otherwise be modernised away.

Within the CUBE wide avenues with moving walkways, atriums, trees and fountains, escalators and lifts. Plenty of space to relax, study, wander and meet.

At least one side of the CUBE also being a giant video screen. Each panel/square as a pixel on a screen. Showing images or especially made movies visible from quite a distance.

The top of the CUBE an enormous terrace to sit, watch, wander, socialise or dance. Yes, dancing on the roof! Imagine each person equipped with a special set of headphones with 20 channels of different music to choose from. Tune into the music you favour and listen or dance on your own or with others, who are either on the same track or on another. Great fun for the onlookers as well!

The Memorial

The CUBE stands on pillars with bridges to enter it from all sides. The bridges span the steps surrounding the CUBE from all directions (forming a kind of amphitheatre) leading down to Ground Zero, which would contain almost 3,000 CUBES. Each CUBE representing one of those that died there or died later as a consequence. Each CUBE to be a memorial to that person with their personal history, pictures, videos, dreams, writings etc. and possibly with a living website dedicated to that person.

If we want to learn and not forget, there should also be CUBES for those who performed the horrendous act of destroying all these lives. If we do not try to get an understanding for them, their history and their motives, how can we ever expect to prevent more of the same?

Around the CUBE

Lots of space, a park, flowers and trees, sculptures, ponds and fountains, play grounds, tables to picnic or to play games, space to exercise, to wander or just to lie or sit around.


The CUBE at Ground Zero will be THE CUBE. But it would be even better if it would spawn many CUBES all over the world with a similar set-up and intention.


The symbolism of the CUBE is internationalism. We could take it a step further by also facilitating and promoting internationalism as a mental activity in a very direct way. Let us invent CUBING: an activity or mindset to cherish, explore, analyse, confront, challenge, embrace, respect the other in order to get a better understanding of all the varieties in human behaviour, values, beliefs and practices that we find around the world.

Respecting differences offcourse does not mean one agrees with them or condones them, but it means the willingness to accept that we differ. So a CUBE session is an exercise in exploring and understanding through communication, while trying to avoid competition, feelings of superiority and value judgement, or at least in trying to postpone judgement. CUBE discussions or projects aim to promote international, intercultural, interracial, inter-gender and interpersonal exchange and understanding.

To change beliefs and practices is not the primary aim. CUBING in itself however can create changes in the participants by its process and can be a building block for an internal desire for change. Change however is only 100% for the better, if we manage to retain what was good before. That is only possible when we truly understand what is, before we attempt to change it.

The analogy with Cubism as an art form is intriguing. Especially if you define Cubism as deconstructing the whole into its constituent parts, transforming some or all of them, by trying to reduce them to their essence. Then reassemble the whole in a different and possibly non-conventional way in order to create a new reality.

It would be cool to set up many small CUBES in the CUBE and in the surrounding park in which people can go to have a CUBING session with one or more people, either just to talk about whatever they feel like or organised around themes. Special CUBING training sessions could be given and something like the CUBING rules could be posted around. Internet chat sessions or video conferencing can be facilitators as well, so that one can CUBE from home or from any other place.

The CUBE as a trademark

The CUBE as a trademark should belong to the world. It is not conceived as a moneymaking enterprise. It requires money however for it to happen and to grow. One way of doing that is to invite people, institutions, companies and governments to buy non-profit shares in the CUBE. Or donate 1% of budgets or income to the CUBE and CUBE projects.

Those who use the CUBE or CUBING for profits in creating and selling services or products could pay 10% of their revenues to the CUBE and its projects.

No hurry

Hopefully this piece will help to stimulate the discussion and focus more on this historic opportunity to make a difference and to show the future where we were at the time. Will what arises on Ground Zero be seen as a lost opportunity or as a visionary gift to the people of New York and to the rest of the world? There is no hurry. Even if it took 10 years to come to a conclusion, that would be better than the wrong choice.

Hereby an open invitation to architects and designers to visualize the CUBE

For a better world
It is the only one we have


June 2nd, 2005, 09:08 PM
Rubik,is that you?