Memorial Visitor Engagement

9-11 Memorial-Competition Submissions-2003-NYC That Never Was-World Trade Center.levine9/11 Memorial Competition Entry: John Crowley

Another very fascinating set of designs involved asking visitors to “do something” at the memorial, very fitting in our new age of personalization, the “shopping experience” and the like – active, not passive memory. Here is an example from a chapter of many.

John Crowley works in designing exhibitions and public art. John’s entry is entitled “Hands Reaching Upward” and explained there:

“I visited Ground Zero and observed the letters, flowers and gifts that people had left to honor the fallen victims. The people were trying to reach out to the fallen…”

The design engages memorial visitors and is powered by digital technology:

“The viewer would walk up and place their hand on a [glass topped] podium, directly in front of [large] screens. A camera…will then take a snapshot of the person’s hand. The image will then be assigned a colored background and sent to the screens. The picture of their hand will then take its place with the other participants’ hands to create a giant mosaic…

The names of the victims of 9/11 will then appear at period intervals in large type scrolling across the screen.”

All of this before smartphones, virtual reality and whatever comes next. Static, greyscale uni-dimensional memorials imply death Future public memorials could be more; they could celebrate the victim’s lives and encourage the living to prevent their need.

Buy the book 9/11 Memorial Visions: Innovative Concepts from the 2003 World Trade Center Site Competition on Amazon.

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the 9/11 Memorial, the version that was actually built. Also see the alternate plans for the World Trade Center that were never built.