As Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1941 Four Freedoms speech marks its 80th anniversary in 2021, a talented cohort of Milstein students spent 8 weeks at Cornell Tech contesting and redefining conceptions of monumentality and freedom in civic spaces. How do we challenge notions of power, materiality, form, figuration, scale, functionality, erasure and permanence within commemorative landscapes? Can a song, gesture, photograph, painting or poem serve as a more enduring and empowering monument? Do the affordances of technology hinder or remedy historical asymmetries? Grappling with these provocations, student combined their design thinking skills with a suite of immersive applications to architect and activate prototype memorials on Roosevelt Island, culminating in a showcase of their creativity, criticality, and newfound technical expertise.
During their time at Cornell Tech, students were instructed, supported and inspired by David Bering-Porter, Austin Bunn, Michael Byrne, Irwin Chen, Deborah Estrin, Jackie Klein, Angelica Kosasih, William Leon, Mor Naaman, Niti Parikh, Oscar Romero, Donna Rose, Sarah Rubin, Jagan Narayanan Subramanian, Hufsa Tasnim, Juliet Weissman and Lauren Zehner.