This project was started in 2012 by NIU alumn, Lauren Meranda, for her MDes thesis on Design after Loss.
Collective negative events often invoke within an individual a natural desire to memorialize. Whether in the stone memorials at the National Mall, the posters designed for the Tsunami in Japan, or the roadside memorials filled with teddybears and hand-made cards, their is a presence of creation and creative expression following tragedies. Bringing creativity to the grieving grieving process can be a powerful tool, but one that should be considered respectfully. What is the role of design after loss? Beginning with a brief understanding of memory and remembering, the motives of memorial can be split into two categories–the psychology of loss and the creation of public memory.
The question lies in who decides what story gets told. In memorials stemming from collective tragedy, design should seek to facilitate the grieving process and the public memory-making that comes from those who the tragedy affects. A single story should not be the only one we tell.