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Behold, D.C.’s Next Potential Memorial

The memorial will be chosen from one of the four below

American Wild: A Memorial by DHLS
Image via National Park Service

The National Park Service and the National Capital Planning Commission have announced the four finalists to the Memorials for the Future competition. With the goal to reimagine the traditional memorial, these four potential projects range from a high-def video of national parks to podcasts of immigrants’ stories.

The contest launched in April in partnership with non-profit Van Alen Institute and received a total of 89 submitted proposals. Originally, the National Park Service planned on narrowing down the finalists to three, but decided to select four. In order to do this, the organization provided an additional $15,000 in funding, reported Washington Business Journal.

Each team will receive $15,000 stipends in three installments over the course of the next few months. From now until August 8, these finalist teams will visit Washington, D.C. four times in order to further develop their proposals. Once complete, the competition results will be displayed on the Memorials for the Future website, in an exhibition, and in an illustrated published report. The winner will be announced September 8.

To see the semi-finalists of the competition, go to the Memorials for the Future website here. See which teams made it to the final four below with the original descriptions from the Memorials for the Future website.

"Members: Erik Jensen, Rebecca Sunter

A platform for witnessing rising seas, the Climate Chronograph is a living observatory for an unfolding global story. As seas rise, cherry trees die in place, becoming bare branched delineations of shorelines past. Over a lifetime, a visitor will experience the same place in its ever-changing condition, a legible demonstration of generational-paced change. This new memorial is continually becoming, and in doing so offers a new approach to monumentality. A light human hand sustainably initiates a profound pastoral meditation. This landscape chronograph marks both our vulnerability and our response. It records the challenges before us."

"Members: Radhika Mohan, Sahar Coston-Hardy, Janelle L. Johnson, Michelle Lin-Luse

The experience of movement and migration is the elemental experience of what it means to be an American. Leaving home, hopeful and expectant, and meeting hostility and kindness, misunderstanding and acceptance. Overcoming obstacles fueled by ambition and resourcefulness. Making a new home among people familiar and strange. Immigrant experiences, including those of native peoples, are at the foundation of the national psyche. They are also experiences that divide our country and have been a part of our political debate since the country’s founding. THE IM(MIGRANT) is a proposal that responds to these ideas, reinforcing core American beliefs by unfolding and commemorating the varied journeys that grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and strangers have taken through the landscape of Washington, DC. It offers the visitor access to the experience of movement, of arrival, and of making a new home."

"Members: Anca Trandafirescu, Troy Hillman, Yurong Wu, Amy Catania Kulper

VOICEOVER: histories, memories, and flights of fancy VOICEOVER is a project that embraces a spirit of revisionism as a means toward a broader and more democratic form of national memorialization. Rather than a freestanding monument, VOICEOVER is a supplemental overlay that expands the original monuments’ meanings and extends the territory of possible memorial subjects deeply into Washington DC’s urban fabric. Fragmentary and dependent by nature VOICEOVER makes no claims toward cultural conclusions on historic events. Rather, VOICEOVER is a loud call to reawaken a nation to its relevant and multi-faceted pasts. It gives voice to the diverging understandings and conflicting perspectives of a multi-cultural society."

American Wild: A Memorial by DHLS
Image via National Park Service

"Members: Forbes Lipschitz, Halina Steiner, Shelby Doyle, Justine Holzman

American Wild virtualizes the National Parks through an interactive, immersive installation. Using ultra-high-definition video, recordings of each 59 natural parks can be projection-mapped at full scale. Audio recordings heighten the visceral experience and establish emotional connections to the landscape. The memorial democratizes National Park access by creating an installation in one of the most economically and racially diverse neighborhoods in the nation’s capital. Full scale, immersive environment design expands access to both phenomenological experience and ecological understanding. In so doing, the memorial reinvigorates the ways in which we interact with the cultural and biological diversity of the American landscape."

The Five Coolest, Trippiest Proposed D.C. Memorials [Curbed DC]

New Competition Asks Public to Imagine Next Century's Memorials [Curbed DC]

Memorials for the Future names 4 finalists [Washington Business Journal]

These Four Memorial Designs Could Come to Washington in the Future [Washingtonian]