An embrace of indeterminacy, nature will write our story, our choices, into the landscape as we face this most vulnerable moment of uncertainty.
Winner | Memorials for the Future
Sponsored by the National Park Service, National Capital Planning Commission, Van Alen Institute
Hains Point, Washington, D.C.
The proposed memorial is a public record of rising seas, a living observatory for an unfolding process toward an unknown future.
Continually becoming, the memorial commemorates present and future conditions. Climatic changes are poignant reminders of the generational impacts of our daily actions. Spatializing this moment of uncertainty and challenge, the memorial marks today’s shoreline as a function of past actions and future choices. Both extending and contracting our human experience of the temporal, nature authors its long unfolding on the land, upon which the past, present, and future are embedded together.
Climate Chronograph is slow, offering us an opportunity to shift our current, accelerationist thinking into a longer multi-generational time frame. Locals may witness a gradual progression of rising seas, whereas out-of-town visitors may never experience the same memorial twice. Imagine a young American’s staple eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C.: one row of inundated trees. During a college protest: three flooded rows. When she returns later in life with her children: seven rows of rampikes. Transformation of the memorial mirrors transformation in the world, and bears witness to the changes wrought on a landscape over time. When our children and our children’s children visit, it becomes a legible demonstration of generational-paced change.