Maya-Linning the memorial
: The New York Times yesterday published a sketch for a memorial concept at the World Trade Center that it published back in September 2002 and I found it shocking — for the sketch was by Maya Lin and it strongly, even eerily resembled the design just chosen for the site’s memorial: two pools of water and a grove of trees.
I won’t go so far as to say that the design competition was a sham. I have full faith in the honor and effort of the jury. But it does feel as if the process was entirely foreshortened by the influence — whether in person or whether just in the Vietnam Memorial — of Maya Lin. The public vision that she had for a memorial before the competition is the vision that was chosen and it’s the vision that’s most compatible with her own memorial style in Washington.
If I liked the memorial that as chosen — the bathtub in the bathtub — I wouldn’t care about process. But because I am truly bothered about what they are about to build then, yes, the process matters. Influence matters. One person clearly influenced this decision when, instead, the world was supposed to influence it.