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Date of Award
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
School of Art, Design and Art History
After the Vietnam / American War, both lives
and land were left devastated and still remain
scarred, acting as a tangible memory of the
violence that occurred on Vietnamese soil.
Craters the size of lakes cover the countryside.
People live daily with the injuries and birth
defects resulting from malicious warfare. Though
the fighting is over, the suffering is not. Also
left behind were thousands of pounds of unexploded
ordinance embedded into the landscape, waiting to
resurface. In many unfortunate cases, the
curiosity of children has lead them to these
brightly-colored objects and, thus, their death.
My architectural installation will exist in
Multiple sites yet act as a whole. In Vietnam
[site_02], six strategically chosen craters will
house research stations. Seismic and other
quantitative data will continuously be collected,
transmitted, + influencing site_01: Ypsilanti,
Michigan [“Ypsi”]. This is the location in which
many of the tools of war used in Vietnam were
manufactured. The connection between here
[site_01] there [site_02] will be
reestablished and exploited through my architecture.
This link will serve as a way for us to rectify the
actions we have taken on the Vietnamese nation
And the casualties we have caused. As more unexploded
Ordnance is detonated in Vietnam, the research stations
will record + transmit this seismic data to Ypsi.
As our past mistakes, in the form of cluster munitions,
Are unearthed, our soil, too, will suffer. The
Machines in Ypsi are data-driven: as more UXO is found,
the soil will be torn + scarred + trenched + disfigured.
As this process unfolds, the trenches turn to scars,
Extending into and beyond the Huron River + Ford Lake.
The water becomes more integrated with the urbanization
Of the city as it expands into the trenches. Narrow
strips of land will emerge between the trenches, creating
A series of new spaces within the city. As the earth
heals, new ecosystems will find homes in the trenches,
Giving way to new life. The rebirth of our destroyed lands
Now acts a permanent linkage between here + there, one
Trenched and one cratered.
Burger, Kaitlin, "This Is Not A Memorial" (2018). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 523.