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As COVID-19 continues to impact the world, many are left unable to grieve and be given the chance for closure. With nationwide lockdowns in many countries, people are left to be in isolation, leaving no opportunities to really reflect on current events. People have had to resort to technology and social media for social interactions. This proposal presents an idea of a community-based memorial where technology and architecture coexist; where people can properly mourn through tactile, visual and audio interactions. Inspired by the many recent digital billboards showing the names of the heroes who fought and are still fighting on the front lines, I thought this idea of having photos of loved ones, audio messages previously logged in our phones, or physical letters that may have been written in the past, and translating that onto large interactive screens to be an ideal solution. In this climate, the idea of a space that encourages social interactions through digital medium allows a different approach to how we see contact beyond the physical realm. Due to social distancing, there are limitations to how we can interact with other people. This affects how we socialise as we are now always resorting to our phones for this need to interact with others. By creating a digital space that allows social interaction through many forms, the bereaved are able to have closure within themselves.
The memorial’s design takes its form from a maze. I designed it this way as I believe the bereaved must ‘get lost’ within the space and reflect within themselves, knowing that there are others like them also going through the same experiences. It is only when you are lost in your own thoughts, can you properly grieve and take in everything around you.
The space is incorporated with an abundance of vegetation, signalling the need for a cohesion of nature and architecture. During this pandemic, many have longed to go outside, especially to somewhere full of greens. In general, studies have shown that being close to nature can provide calmer and happier attitudes. Therefore, by surrounding the space with trees, it not only provides shading and this sense of privacy, it also alleviates the stress that people are currently experiencing.
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