The escalating amount of publicized police brutality has contributed to a rise in social tension, revolt and a desire for police and racial justice reform. Within the last two years alone, the media has been bombarded with images of unarmed people of color being slain by law officers or white vigilantes. The death of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Brenna Taylor, Daniel Prude, and countless more serve as yet another example of the discrimination people of color face, and the latest chapter in the history of racial injustices. The very public murder of George Floyd as he plead for his life sparked both indignation and outrage at the institutionalized systemic failures regarding race and inequality that have permeated the United States from its inception. Protests, riots, and an uprising of the community standing in solidarity with people of color inspired not only an American movement, but a global one as people of all races, genders and creeds took to the streets as an act of civic engagement. Preserving the memory of George Floyd and the thousands of unarmed people of color is the core objective of this living memorial, which acts a creative expression of pain and hope. In bringing these historical events into a discussion with the function of architecture and civic design principles, I looked at how the built environment can act as a stage for local and communal exchange of ideas and experiences in regards to people, history and culture.
- De Lima Vaz Xavier, Davi Assistant Professor of the Practice