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The Matter of Memory: A Monument to Memory-Making

November 6, 2023 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Pratt Institute, Higgins Hall Auditorium, 61 St. James Place, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Event poster with a white background, and a vector illustration of an object that looks a bit like a curtain valence with blinds under it.

Richard Yoo and Eric Moed

In a discussion with Vicki Weiner and Mariel Collard

Our experience of the built environment is reframed with each encounter, much like a memory is reframed each time it is remembered. Memorials hold a unique place in the field of architecture insofar as their form is subservient to a story. Richard Joon Yoo and Eric Moed’s built monuments and memorials weave together each memory’s components; the people, the place, the time, the event – closely examining and processing context, and in doing so boldly and strategically reframing each story. This constructed narrative directs the design process with respect to materiality, technology, and the performance of making. ‘The Matter of Memory’ encompasses an explosion of the process by which Yoo and Moed design through their built work. Through the act of reframing the story, the frame being what we typically describe as architecture, memorials have the potential to heighten the sensation of the present to provoke change through the creation of a more equitable and just future. Architecture is the device we design to frame space, experience, and memory all at once. The lecture and parallel exhibition will prompt you to critically ask — what is the architecture of reframing? If memory is reframed each time it is remembered, if our experience with the built environment is reframed with each encounter, how do the ephemeral and ever-changing contents of memory relate to their material container of architecture? And importantly, how can we design to provoke impactful, meaningful, and lasting change in the present to inform the future?

Richard Joon Yoo is an architectural designer, artist, teacher, and writer. His work focuses on memory —memorials, and monuments— specifically the ability of the built environment to heighten the present and provoke the future through the careful positioning of memory, context, and material. He is a co-designer of the Triangle Fire Memorial, located in Manhattan where the Triangle Fire occurred in 1911. In March 2019, in collaboration with the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, he and his design partner Uri Wegman hosted the Collective Ribbon project at FIT, the first step in the fabrication of the Triangle Fire Memorial. In 2023 the Triangle Fire Memorial was awarded New York City’s Public Design Commission 40th Annual Design Award. His work has been published in the New York Times, PBS, Architect Magazine, The Architects Newspaper, and the Villager. His writing has won the 2023 Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology in Feminist Studies in Popular and American Culture. He studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_Arc). He has taught at SCI_Arc and Woodbury University in Los Angeles and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture.

Eric Moed’s practice exists at the intersection of architecture, public art, and design, examining the relationship between memory, narrative, and public space. He has designed monuments and memorials globally with a focus on marginalized memories and restorative justice. As an educator Eric has developed a curriculum to engage with controversial monuments and memorials – facilitating discourse and design strategies for a more equitable future public sphere; he also conducts public workshops on the same subject with cities and institutions. Eric is the founder of New York-based transdisciplinary design studio Oopsa aka Office of Open Practice Studio/Agency. oopsa creates environments for learning, remembering, and rethinking that are approachable, experiential, and experimental. He is currently a Fellow at the Urban Design Forum and a member of the Memory Studies Association. Previously, Eric was a founding member of the MIT Media Lab’s Poetic Justice Group and a member of the New Museum‘s cultural incubator NEW INC. His monument and memorial design have been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, Archinect, Artnet, and NPR. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture where he received the inaugural ’22-’23 Pedagogical Pioneers Fellowship. He holds a Master in Design Studies (MDes) from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) from Pratt Institute.


Fall 2023 event at Pratt Institute, School of Architecture:

Pratt Institute, School of Architecture: