Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019 - Photo by Kendall McCaugherty, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial.
The Gun Violence Memorial Projject – Photos by Kendall McCaugherty, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial and MASS Design Group.

Chicago 2019 –  The Gun Violence Memorial Project represents the magnitude of gun-related deaths that occur over a single month in the United States. “The memorial seeks to preserve individual memories and communicate the magnitude of the gun violence epidemic in built space, hoping to foster a national healing process that begins with a recognition of our collective loss and its impact on society.” Explain at MASS Design Group.

The installation is on show at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial running until January 5, 2020.

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019 - Photo by Kendall McCaugherty, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Gun violence is a national epidemic that touches every community in America. The sheer scale of this epidemic often reduces victims of gun violence to statistics and ideas of change to empty promises.” Explain MASS Design Group and Hank Willis Thomas which teamed up with violence prevention organizations Everytown for Gun Safety and Purpose Over Pain.

You hear those numbers all the time, but you never tie names to them. I wanted you to see who my son was.” Says Pamela Bosley, mother of Terrell Bosley and co-founder of control advocacy group Purpose Over Pain.

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019 - Photo by Kendall McCaugherty.

Families who have lost a loved one due to gun violence contributed remembrance objects at in-person collection events. The remembrance objects are placed within a glass brick, displaying the name, year of birth, and year of death of the person being honored.

Inside each house, visitors can hear audio recordings from interviews conducted by MASS and StoryCorps, a non profit organisation preserving and sharing humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people.

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019 - Photo by Kendall McCaugherty, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial.

On an adjacent wall outside of the houses are video clips from Comes The Light, a forthcoming documentary about the ravaging effects of gun violence. These portraits were filmed in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, and capture stories about the lives that have been cut short and the objects chosen to represent them.

MASS Design Group is a non profit architecture and design collective that works to advance justice, promote dignity and improve human and community health through mission-driven design processes. With the understanding that architecture is never neutral – it either heals or it hurts – MASS leverages design to improve the human and physical systems necessary for health, justice, and equity.

We strive to demonstrate that great design can engage civic responsibility, deliver economic and social outcomes, and inspire by bringing beauty and dignity to those most often denied or displaced by architecture.”

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019 - Photo by Kendall McCaugherty, courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial.