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The coronavirus death rate passed one million people, with over 46 million inhabitants affected worldwide. A crisis within this domain and on such scale was unimaginable before. The virus, unlike a natural disaster or a soldier, is invisible and could appear like a ghost and take away those we love. What indeed made the virus “visible” globally, was data, which progressively populated the news in the form of graphs and diagrams. Data were crucial for scientists and politicians, but they were also creating our reality. They were a source to our fears and anxieties.
The concept of the monument derives from the universal experience driven by data. Its form is based on those that passed away (N˚ of fatalities per day, X-Axis) throughout a period of time (Y-axis). In that way, the life of each person that suffered or will suffer by the pandemy is commemorated and, therefore, has its impact on the form. The data transfigured into the spatial structure produces the experience of the pandemic in time and space. The monument as pandemy is present in all continents, nonetheless, as in each location the virus developed differently, the form alters accordingly. The data from the location occupies the central part of the memorial. What is important here is that its final form is yet unknown, so is the pandemic. One cannot yet tell what comes next and when. We are in a state of limbo.
From a positive perspective, the pandemic brought us some beautiful moments. Nature starts to reclaim the earth. During the harsh lockdown, people could experience views that had been obscured as the air slowly purified. Marine life returns to beaches and lagoons. Human constraint allowed the planet a moment of respite. It’s a sign from the Earth. We are not in a state of uncertainty, it is a transitional time. We are not in limbo, it is a Liminal moment!
Curves generated by the data open the space for a transition. The garden occupies the central part of the monument, where the data of its location is represented. Something that looks like a wound on the plaza in fact gives birth to a new era. The three-dimensional sculpture becomes a truly multi-sensory experience: by the sound of the bees and birds, through blossom and flower one can smell a fresh fragrance and see the brightness and, the wave or ripple of the design allows for one to touch the axis of raw data. Moreover It's a message for us to come back to a closer relationship to nature.
The memorial honors those that passed away and acknowledges our common responsibility towards the future. It is a mark of a global tragedy but at the same time a symbol of change.
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