Talk on Genocide Museum Design to Be Held at MEMEAC

NEW YORK—On Tues., Nov. 1, the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will present “Traces: A Museum Without Artifacts—Design, Projection, and the Armenian Genocide.”

The featured speakers are Prof. Martin Bechthold and Allen Sayegh of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). Architect Nishan Kazazian will provide additional comments.

In 2010, Bechthold and Sayegh led an advanced studio at the GSD entitled “Traces” that explored the design of a museum without artifacts through the study of immersive projection environments.  The studio is based on the premise that design strategies must simultaneously consider (and design) both the projected content and the physical nature of the spatial environment.  This timely topic has been previously explored on the scale of installations, but remains poorly understood when expanded to an entire museum.

“Traces” challenged students to implement their design strategies in proposals for a museum environment dedicated to the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan.  The possibility of realizing a new museum is under discussion in Armenia—hence providing a realistic context for the studio.  Students traveled to the existing Genocide Museum and Institute in Yerevan during a field trip to Armenia to allow for in-depth on-site research and exploration.

Bechthold is the co-director of the Master in Design Studies Program, director of the GSD Fabrication Labs, and director of the Interdepartmental GSD Technology Platform.  Sayegh is an architect and the president and founder of Invivia, a Cambridge-based digital design firm.  Kazazian has his own design, art, and architectural practice in New York, the A&A Design Group, specializing in the integration of art in architecture. He teaches at Parsons School of Design and at New York University.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Room C201, the Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave., at 34th St. in New York.

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