Sites of Memory: In the Mecca


2021 Honor Award


Chicago, IL


General Design - Graduate Project

Landscape Architects

Meg Schroeder, Jessie Flatley, Rocio Ruiz

Project Details

A site’s destiny exhibits memory of the past and provides conditions for new responses. Sites of memory demand engagement where there is no “occasion” for tragic memorials to be built. Time is the slippery matter with the capacity to establish a site’s ethical function and, as an embodiment of memory, Sites of Memory: In the Mecca resides in the public and in the “dialogic character of memorial space”, as James Young noted. Hence, the work raises questions that are moral, ethical, philosophical, and temporal. Installation of the first stanza of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem, In the Mecca, on the steps of IIT’s Crown Hall interrogates the relationship between the University and neighborhood that was displaced – including demolition of Mecca Flats apartment building for Crown Hall. The installation by graduate landscape architecture students, written in soil and completed with an economy of means, explores text in public space and reclaims a site of memory.

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