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Thread: The Memorial Competition

  1. #91

    Default posts mentioned before

    and from

    For a few days, anyway. I got my Memorial competition submission done, expensively printed at Kinko's, and delivered. (The official Competition Site forbade hand delivery and said couriers must be "listed in the phone book," a verification system clearly designed to thwart my plan if I missed the Fedex deadline: dress up as a bike messenger using gear from my collection.)

    Until I saw Ed Wyatt's Times article about plans pouring in yesterday, I was pretty satisfied with my efforts. My idea's still great, but now, I think I didn't pack it carefully enough.

    Faced with actually producing a thing that could explain my idea in a (hopefully, at least remotely) compelling way, I holed up with the computer, but without the weblog. Trust me, at 2AM, scanning schematics drawn with fabric paint at the Alexandria, VA Kinko's, I longed for what The Gothamsts call the "all talk, no action" approach. (Scanning barely-dry paint is like washing your dog's blanket; it's better to use someone else's machine.)

    But webloggers can't stay quiet for long, even if the competition rules preclude publicly identifying oneself with one's design. Jeff Jarvis worked the competition into a sermon and kept posting (making me jealous of either his weekly magazine-crankin' production discipline or the team of elves he had working on his poster). So now that it's over, I'll tell you, not what I did, but how I did it. Inevitably, I took the ex-consultant and GMAT-taker's Princeton Review-like approach to the competition, imagining what the real goal should be and how the judging process would play out.

    Substance moves ahead of Style
    This stated objective for Stage I is not to choose The Memorial, but to choose "approximately five finalists" , who will develop their concepts in Stage II. If a design has enough substance, i.e., if it's promising, clearly thought through, and successfully fulfills the Mission & Principles, jurors will want to see it developed further. But the Final Five is just one possible goal. You could also set out to be one of the 100 concepts that'll probably be exhibited, or the 2-300 that'll get published in some book. Or you could hit a sacrifice fly, submitting a concept that tries to impact the juror's thinking/discussion. Imagine how 1,000 proposals to recognize firefighters separately might ripple through the selection process.

    About "clearly thought through"
    Maya Lin's nearly abstract rendering of her Vietnam Memorial proposal is repeatedly cited as a competition precedent, but that belies the understanding it actually represented. Lin said she spent far more time on her written concept than on her drawings. One juror noted that the submission showed that "(s)he obviously knew what (s)he was talking about." "Clearly thought through," then, applies to the concept and the experience. It specifically doesn't require deciding every detail, material, and elevation: that's Stage II. Get the right balance of concept images, descriptive text, and relevant, evocative references.

    Memorial is not Monument
    So many times, people have conflated the two things. It's understandable, given the monumental scale of the Towers. Last year, I quoted two German artists who said, "The traditional concept of a monument only encourages people to contemplate a hulking stone building and an abstracted past.". I took Maya Lin at her word when she asked for "a new way of defining what a memorial can be."

    Design for yourself
    Maya Lin called for people to submit "what [they] truly believe needs to be done there." Handicapping the jurors to reverse-engineer the concept or designing to meet currently irreconcilable agendas, or playing it as a political game won't work.

    Produce for the process
    We talked about it at the Charette; I imagine the judging process will comprise a series of filters, each with different criteria:
    Sanity Check -- move crackpot schemes into the Outsider Art bracket. Pick a few fascinating ones for the exhibit.
    Elevator Pitch -- Can it pass the 30-second test and get the meeting? (i.e., Does it appear compelling and smart/effective/interesting enough to warrant fuller evaluation?)
    Clustering -- There are only so many possibilities under the sun. Group all the Put Bush and Giuliani on Mount Rushmore proposals over here, all the How About A Gift From the French? proposals over there. Best of Breed will move on. Anything remotely French will be saved for public burning at the Republican convention.
    Libeskind/Silverstein/Westfield Factor -- Does a concept play well with other uses and forces on the site? Does it break the rules in a net-positive way? I figured a concept that stayed entirely within the competition's parameters, that didn't attempt to inform other aspects of the site, was shirking its mission.
    Take the Heat -- A Final Five concept will be subject to incredible pubic/family/political scrutiny, but only after they're selected. I can't imagine the jurors selecting a straw man concept they know will get pilloried. Unlike the Port Authority's first attempt to redesign the site (which I, with forced idealism, choose to read as a negotiating ploy to gain public outrage-driven leverage over Silverstein and Westfield), playing hardball with the memorial won't be tolerated.

    The unweighted probability of a concept making it to the Final Five is extremely low, but back-of-the-envelope calculations reveal submitting to be a worthwhile exercise. I feel confident that my concept will get relatively serious consideration by jurors. And if it influences their minds as they choose a memorial, it'll be well worth it.
    # of registrants: 13,683
    # who submitted: 10,000
    minus # who meet submission criteria: 8,500
    minus # of Outsider Art entries: 7,500
    minus # of "traditional monuments": 2,500
    % that are evocative--beautiful, even--but ultimately unrealizable: 10
    % that are conceptually interesting, but ultimately unrealizable: 10
    % that break the rules, but whose concept obviously can't survive to completion: 10
    % that are compelling, but that have some dealbreaking shortcoming in terms of Mission/Principle: 20
    % that are admirable descendants of the Vietnam Memorial, but which lack its refinement and staying power: 30
    # of Stage II slots going to such entries: 2/5 or 3/6
    Minimum percentile where I can, without agonizing arrogance, imagine my submission rankng among the 500 that are left: 80th
    Where I actually rank it now, without having seen any other entries: 99.9th

    I certainly hope there are proposals much better than mine.

  2. #92
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Chicago, Illinois

    Default Re: selection process (continued)

    Quote Originally Posted by hdunwood
    yes, the article you mention describes the first round of the vetting process. apparently the jurors would place a dot on boards they wanted to study further. boards that received no dots were thrown out.
    Thrown out? I read in a newspaper article that the intention, in the end, was to display all of the borads that had been entered.

    Besides, if these boards had actually been thrown out, there possibly would have been alot of garbage men talking.

  3. #93

    Default Misunderstanding

    Hdunwood meant that they were placed back in storage marked "no longer under consideration" instead of literally "thrown out" with the trash.

    Eventually they will dispose of them, though, because they have the digital photography as a "permanent" record.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  4. #94


    I think you're right Traj.

    From this news item:

    ...we find the following quote:

    "The LMDC board authorized $250,000 for an exhibit of the memorial finalists and the competition's eventual winner, likely to be held at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden."

    I also believe the LMDC has set aside funds to archive and display many of the competition's submissions, but I couldn't find the exact reference. The LMDC is photographing every entry, though, as part of the competition process... No entry will be discarded, IMHO!

  5. #95


    There was a TV program Rebuilding Ground Zero (?) that actually showed a staff member photographing a board.

    There is no doubt about the existance of a digital archive of the boards, the question is one of access to that information...

  6. #96


    Firefighters Deliver WTC Memorial Petition

    October 21, 2003, 3:26 PM EDT

    NEW YORK -- Firefighters who want rescue workers' names listed together on a World Trade Center memorial site delivered a petition to Gov. George Pataki with more than 65,000 signatures today, saying they hope he will influence the decision of memorial designers to give rescuers special recognition.

    The Advocates for a Fallen 9-11 Fallen Heroes Memorial has lobbied for months to separately list the names of the more than 400 firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers killed in the line of duty on Sept. 11.

    "One hundred years from now, people should know what went on that day," said Fire Lt. Jim McCaffrey, whose brother-in-law, Battalion Chief Orio Palmer, was killed at the trade center.

    McCaffrey said the group doesn't want a separate memorial, but wants the rescue workers' names, units and badge numbers to listed next to their names, and wants the workers' names to be grouped together on any memorial

    The firefighters collected several final signatures outside Pataki's Manhattan offices Tuesday, then delivered the petition.

    "The governor has made clear that the creation of a memorial befitting the heroes who died that tragic day is his top priority and the decisions regarding the memorial are now in the hands of a distinguished jury which has been entrusted with the important responsibility of selecting the winning memorial design," Pataki spokeswoman Mollie Fullington said Tuesday.

    Next month, the 13-person jury is expected to disclose the names of finalists selected to design a memorial at the site. A record 5,200 groups and individuals submitted design proposals for the memorial to the Feb. 26, 1993 bombing of the trade center as well as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

    The firefighters' group has been backed by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has said the rescue workers deserve some form of special recognition, while victims' relatives have said that no victims should be separated into a special class.

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has adopted guidelines saying any design should "honor the loss of life equally and the contributions of all without establishing any hierarchies."

    Copyright © 2003, The Associated Press

  7. #97


    Just my opinion, but this seems to be a bit premature. They haven't even decided on what the memorial is going to look like yet and already they're whining about it!

    And the highlighted sentence seems to indicate an inside knowledge that we may still have to wait a bit more before the WTC Memorial Design Competition finalists are announced. The winning design may not be chosen until Spring at this rate...

  8. #98


    Memorial Petition Asks That Firefighters Lost 9/11 Be Listed Together

    NY1's Amanda Farinacci explains how one group is proposing to honor New York City firefighters lost in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    It may seem like a last-ditch effort, but a table boasting the signatures of thousands of New Yorkers outside Governor Pataki's Midtown office Tuesday was the end result of an aggressive campaign to list firefighters killed on September 11 together in an eventual memorial at the World Trade Center.

    “Sometimes some people are under the impression that we're asking for a separate memorial,” said Marisol Torres, who lost her cousin, firefighter Manny del Valle in the attacks. “That's not what we're asking for. We're simply asking that rescue workers be listed together by department.”

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency charged with rebuilding, created memorial guidelines simply stating that each victim of the attack be recognized. The ultimate decision rests in the hands of a 13-member jury, but the advocates want the public to weigh in.

    “How can you even question it?” said Steve Dunne, a New Yorker who supports the petition. “How could you even come in this lifetime and question what they request? They saved so many lives, sacrificed so much.”

    “They definitely should be memorialized, and I agree with what they're doing,” said Jane Schwartz, another supporter of the petition. “That they want to have their names and their departments who they were with; their badge number and have them represented as the people who they were.”

    Not everyone thinks listing the members together is a no-brainer. Families of non-uniformed personnel killed in the attacks fear a separation of names will create a hierarchy. Firefighters NY1 spoke with disagree.

    “We're not saying that our guys are better than the civilians,” said Firefighter Patrick McCarvill of Engine 92. “It's just that we want them listed together; we don't want to be placed higher up on the list. It's OK if our guys go at the end of the list or at the bottom. It’s just that we feel they should be together.”

    The bulk of the more than 65,000 signatures have been collected in the past two months. Feeling anxious about a pending memorial decision, organizers say they wanted to take their message straight to the governor.

    “We want the governor to know, to make sure that he knows that the public is aware of this and they're watching him and they're expecting him to take care of our rescuers,” said John Finucaine of Advocates for 911 fallen Heroes Memorial

    The governor's office said, "The creation of a memorial befitting the heroes who died that tragic day is his top priority, and the decisions regarding the memorial are now in the hands of a distinguished jury, which has been entrusted with the important responsibility of selecting the winning memorial design."

    There is no word yet on exactly when the finalists will be announced, but a design is expected to be selected before the end of the year and the group will be waiting anxiously to see how their heroes will be remembered.

    --Amanda Farinacci


    How do you like them apples?

  9. #99

    Default looking for more action

    Unless I'm missing the right location at Wired, this forum is not as active as it could be for discussing the WTC memorial. Those of you still checking in should visit, newly put up by's William Stratas.

    See you there.

    NJ Artist

  10. #100

    Default Agree with NJ Artist

    Continue this discussion with everyone from all the boards:

    This is the same link as above. See everyone there.

  11. #101


    This forum went through its phase of violent upheaval and heated arguments over WTC and the memorial. However, people have since remembered that there is a world of architecture and skyscrapers out there that merits our attention.

  12. #102


    Well said, Eugenius.

    However, many feel that the issues surrounding the WTC site memorial competition are still compelling. For them I suggest

  13. #103
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Chicago, Illinois


    Pataki Sets New Timeline For Lower Manhattan Development

    October 31, 2003

    New York Governor George Pataki today announced an updated schedule for development in Lower Mannhattan. The governor stated that the timeline he set forth in April was "right on track." Dates are as follows:

    November 17: Eight proposals for the WTC memorial will go on display at the Winter Garden at the World Trade Center. The jury, meanwhile, will continue to deliberate on the winner.

    November 22: The Vesey Street Pedestrian Bridge, crossing West Street, will open, linking the World Trade Center with Battery Park City and other areas to the west.

    November 23: Reopening of the temporary PATH terminal at the World Trade Center, linking Lower Manhattan to New Jersey.

    December 15: The design for Daniel Libeskind and David Child’s Freedom Tower will be displayed. Pataki called the endeavor "a collaboration of two of the greatest architects of our time."

    January 2004: A menu of options for direct access from downtown Manhattan to JFK and Newark Liberty airports will be announced. A selection will be made in April 2004.

    End 2004: Fast ferry service to LaGuardia will begin operating. By 2005, a fast ferry will begin operating to JFK airport.

    Sam Lubell
    Architectural Record

  14. #104


    NY POST...



    November 7, 2003 -- An unusual proposal for a World Trade Center memorial was initially selected by judges as a potential finalist - but then got bounced when it was discovered the author broke contest rules, The Post has learned.

    The proposal, dubbed Twin Piers, called for two enormous jetties, the size of the Twin Towers, extending into the harbor from Battery Park - bypassing entirely what was supposed to be the main memorial site inside the Ground Zero pit.

    Gov. Pataki announced last week that eight memorial finalists will be unveiled Nov. 17, but The Post has learned the panel of jurors initially picked nine designs to move on to a second stage of the competition.

    Manhattan journalist Fred Bernstein says the ninth design was the Twin Piers, which he created last year and posted online.

    But the design was apparently disqualified because it was determined that he was the author of two memorial submissions - a violation of the rules.

    The near-inclusion of the Twin Piers among the finalists provides a window into the secretive workings of the 13-member jury, which spent months sorting through 5,200 entries.

    Some jury members had urged designers to think outside the box about memorial designs - and the Twin Piers show how far the panel was willing to go in that direction.

    Bernstein told The Post he had once hoped to submit the piers idea in the memorial competition, but when the rules were announced last April, he realized it fell completely outside the guidelines.

    "I lost faith in it," Bernstein said. "I gave up and thought it didn't have a chance."

    Instead, Bernstein, 46, came up with another idea and submitted last June.

    At the same time, he said a friend, Charles Upchurch, urged him not to give up on his original concept - and Bernstein gave permission to have the Twin Piers submitted under Upchurch's name.

    In September, Bernstein said Upchurch, a Florida history professor, got a call from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., saying the Twin Piers design had been picked by the jury.

    Bernstein said he was elated, but after a series of phone calls and letters to and from the LMDC, Upchurch got an e-mail in early October saying the piers would not be among the finalists.

    Bernstein, who writes about architecture, said the LMDC gave no reason for its decision.

    But it appears the agency found the piers online under Bernstein's copyright, making him the author of two submissions.

    "The judges picked it . . . and it was disqualified on a technicality," said Bernstein, who insists he did nothing wrong.

    A source familiar with the competition confirmed that the design was disqualified for breaking the rules, and that jurors understood their selections must pass such a check.

    This concept for "Twin Piers" the size of the Twin Towers was once a finalist, but got tossed since the designer broke contest rules.

  15. #105


    So the jury wanted to tell all the WTC tourist/pilgrims: "walk the plank?"

    I hope all the finalists are as underwhelming as this. :?

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