crosswalk memorial

An interesting Portugese campaign (via Osocio and social design notes) used crosswalk stripes made out of the names of pedestrians killed in car accidents to at once remember those lost as well as call attention to pedestrian safety. The curb message says,”One quarter of the victims of auto accidents are pedestrians.”

Memorials and remembering the past are a common challenge for design activists. Memorials often become a spatial element of social protest, where the memorial, like the crosswalk shown, serves both as a physical remembrance of those who were lost while at the same time carrying forward a message of protest, “this should not happen again.”

Recent events, particularly the 9/11 terrorist bombings, have put a spotlight on the question of how we memorialize. Karrie Jacobs provides an interesting contemplation on this question in her article, The Power of Inadvertent Design (Metropolis, February 2004).

I’ve also tried to present this challenge in the form of a design brief for design students, which you can find in the teaching guide for The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability. The brief includes links to other article about memorial design.

P.S. I apologize to anyone who looked at this site during the past couple of weeks when the home page was inadvertently replaced with a different and only partial homepage for another site. The limits of my technical web management skills are exposed…

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