Student wins Armenian Genocide Memorial design contest

The Art Center College of Design and the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (PASAGMC) jointly announced the winning design concept for a new memorial whose planned dedication in 2015 will coincide with 100th anniversary commemorations of the Armenian Genocide. The concept by Art Center Environmental Design student Catherine Menard was developed in 2012 as part of the College’s social impact design program, Designmatters. The proposed site for the public artwork is Memorial Park in the City of Pasadena, the Center for Armenian Remembrance reports.

Menard’s concept was one of 17 submissions the committee received, and one of three finalists chosen by an independent panel of judges in December. The three-judge panel included Stefanos Polyzoides, a principal of Moule & Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists; Ruben Amirian, an architect/artist who has served on the design review board and historic commission in Glendale; and Neshan Peroomian, a contractor and prominent Armenian-American community leader.

In all, six Environmental Design students at ArtCenter developed memorial proposals last fall during an intensive Design Topic Studio class and submitted them to the competition. Two of the students—Menard and her classmate J.D. Clark—were selected as finalists, a particularly impressive achievement in a field of competitors that included many seasoned professionals.

Earlier this month, Board members of PASAGMC voted unanimously to move forward with Menard’s proposal.

The central feature of Menard’s minimalist design—a carved-stone basin of water straddled by a tripod arrangement of three columns leaning into one another—is a single drop of water that falls from the highest point every three seconds, each “teardrop” representing one life lost. Over the course of one year, 1.5 million tears will fall into the pool, the estimated number of victims of the Armenian Genocide.

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