In Class Beauty



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Sample A

In Class Beauty

When I was six, my family and I visited Washington DC for the first time. Sightseeing is one of my family’s favorite activities so it was only so it was only natural for us to visit the capital. On the first day, I remember my parents at breakfast telling me how we were going to go see the Lincoln memorial first. Not quite understanding what the Lincoln Memorial was, I started jumping up and down with joy. The car ride there felt like hours as we crawled through traffic. Once we reached our destination I ran up the steps of the Memorial as fast as I could. I set eyes with the memorial once I reached the top steps and I will never forget the feelings that pulsed through me. Feelings of awe, pride, curiousity and joy flooded my being. I walked around the memorial so many times, trying to find any features that did not seem perfect. That feeling of awe, that feeling of curiousity has stuck with me for eleven years. A monument or memorial is supposed to make people feel as if what they are viewing is bigger than themselves. A monument or memorial is supposed to leave you feeling full of knowledge and emotions. In order for the memorial and monuments to leave people with all of these things, the people who construct them will must examine the layout, location, and lasting impression of these memorials and monuments.

One of the first decisions that an architect must take when creating a monument or memorial is location. The locations must be significant and respectively honor the course. In source E, Musser shows just how important location is when he says that “controversy grew from Jewish and non-Jewish communities, primarily due to the fact that a museum dedicated to the Holocaust would be built in the United States, who did little to stop the Holocaust.” The location of this Holocaust museum is so “offensive” because of the United States during World War II did close to nothing to stop the Holocaust. Location in this example was the make-or-break decision of architects. As you can see from source E, the popularity and societal approval of a memorial or monument can vanish if the location is incorrect, proving the importance of location when planning/designing a memorial or monument.

Why do memorials or monuments have benches? Mirrors? Grass-areas? Waterfalls? Because they are designed like that. The layout of a monument or memorial is supposed to fit the location and purpose for that monument or memorial. Source G shows us how the layout can give purpose to the overall place and affect the visitors in the way you want to. Lin says that when designing the Vietnam War Memorial she “wanted to create a unity between past and present” by adding a “polished, mirrored surface.” These choices of where to place them create an extraordinary challenge for the designers. The layout of a monument or memorial is another make-or-break factor when building these things. In order to make visitors feel what you want them to feel you must perfect your layout.

The last factor that you must take into consideration is the lasting impression you want to leave your audience with. Do you want them to feel joyful? Proud? Sad? Curious? This question must be answered before building. Source C says that the Crazy Horse Memorial is supposed to depict a “solitary dream” that the Sioux people hold about those lands. The author states that he was “impressed” and “moved” by the memorial and everything that came with it. The whole point of a monument or memorial is to affect someone and make them feel whatever you want them to feel. A successful memorial or monument leaves its audience feeling either educated or sad or proud or whatever the purpose of the monument or memorial is. The lasting impression that people leave with it should be the backbone and driving force behind the creation of a monument or memorial. Source A says that “monumental core in Washington functions somewhat like a pilgrimage site” which means that you are looking for something in this pilgrimage which is more specifically a type of feeling. What people are looking for if a lasting impression.

The layout, location, and lasting impression of a monument or memorial are all make or break factors when building or creating one. The layout intends to intertwine design with audience in order to make people feel something. The location needs to be respectively honor the cause, making sure not to offend anyone. The lasting impression, in my opinion is the most important factor when designing because it is the purpose that fuels all monuments and memorials. The lasting impression is the reason that we create memorials and monuments, it is the backbone and core of all monuments and memorials. All three of these factors must be perfected and carefully considered in order to create/design a successful monument or memorial.

Sample B


Throughout history, human kind has caused atrocities that taught future generations what to avoid or eliminate in order to prevent disasters of the same type. After 2016 years of history, today’s society seems to have forgotten the efforts of older civilizations such as Romans, Mongols, or Persians that shaped the countries we live in the twenty-first century. But why do we forget such important civilizations, leaders, or battles? Why do modern societies seem to stop caring about historical events? It is all a matter of time, we have forgotten significant events because thousands of years separate us from our ancestors, so we don’t feel an emotional connection with our past. So how should architects or governments design monuments that create an unbreakable bond with future generations?

The design of a monument can be a challenging task mainly because the public finances such projects. In order for a memorial to be successful, the designer has to create a deep connection between the individual and the collective body (Source A). This bond will continuously remind the viewer of the significance of history, but most importantly it will encourage the public to be like the hero, or to avoid the disaster it represented. Therefore, a government should invest in a monument that inspires its visitors through an emotional attachment.

Oftentimes, monuments use mainly statues of important people to remind citizens who created or transformed the environment they live in. Monument designers should continue to use this trend because a pose transmits more than just constructing a park or a building. For instance, Source B shows the statue of Christopher Columbus that expresses power, leadership, and majesty of the Spanish explorer. By looking at the statue, the viewer can imagine how Europeans looked and acted when they discovered the New World. Therefore, designers should use statues that transmit strong characteristics that can inspire future generations.

The twenty-first century has witnessed different troubles than previous times; industrialization change the way we face battles. For instance, 9/11 attacks in New York created a negative connotation towards Muslim religion. When the architects of the 9/11 memorial created the blue prints they had to be careful to avoid such generalizations, so they decided to write all the names of everyone who died in the attack. This allowed “everyone to respond and remember” (Source G) the disaster forever. Therefore, architects should continue to use names in order to create an impact of how many innocent people died.

Memorials are often a source of discussion because they have to be extremely respectful. The best way to achieve this is to use names, statues, and designs that truly connect with the audience.

Sample C


Memorializing the Past

No one wants to be forgotten. Creating a monument is the perfect way to memorialize an event or a person so that they can live on in spirit forever. However, there are some major things to consider when deciding to create a monument. The most important is the person or event themselves, is their legacy worth remembering? If it is, location and design are two other aspects to consider when making the decision to preserve history by creating a monument.

The main purpose of a monument is to capture the past. Once established, these monuments serve as a three dimensional knowledge and place for reflection. It is critical to consider all aspects of an event or person in order to avoid memorializing negative influences. One of the most well-known American monuments Mount Rushmore has negative connotations. This massive monument serves to memorialize some of America’s greatest heroes but it is also a paradox. These faces are carved into the exact hills that they stole from the Sioux native Americans (Source C). Now this monument also serves as a reminder to the Sioux of their stolen property and can cause negative feelings to form. Both sides of every story need to be reviewed before the decision of creating a monument is made in order to prevent negative past emotions and tensions to be constantly revisited.

Once people figure out that an event or person is worth memorializing location must be determined. The location of a monument will ultimately determine the impact it will have on society. A monument in the middle of the desert that has limited accessibility will not be viewed by nearly as many people as one near a big city. People treat monuments as if they were holy sites, flocking to visit them (Source A). The location of the actual event is nearly irrelevant in deciding the location of a monument; accessibility overrides origin. People should wage the potential location of a monument not on its proximity to the origin, but on the public’s access to it. Completely forgetting the original location of an event is not always necessary, as sometimes it is important to memorialize landmarks in history. A good example of this is Plymouth Rock. The location of this monument was critical because it is memorializing a specific location. But when it comes to events that impacted the whole world, potential locations can vary. Having the Holocaust Museum in Washington DCs national mall is appropriate because it allows for more exposure than it if was in a small town in Europe (Source E). The realtor’s saying that the three most important things when buying a house “location, location, location” also holds true for creating monuments.



The last factor to consider when memorializing an event or person is the design. Design is key because it influences what the monument implies. See a statue of a man in uniform, and immediately you assume a war hero (Source B). First impressions give the viewer critical unconscious judgement about the memorial and what it memorializes. A good design must accurately reflect the person or event, without overriding the information and historical significance the monument is supposed to convey.” The need for the names to be on a memorial would become the memorial; there was no need to embellish the design further “ (Source G). This example of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial shows that sometimes simplicity is more impactful than extravagance.

While it is important to preserve and remember the past, society cannot memorialize everything. People must be cautious of what monuments they choose to build because those conveyed ideas of the past can impact and help mold the future.


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