This exhibition celebrates the vibrant past of Hazelwood, Pittsburgh while offering current residents a communal place to grieve their loved ones, discuss current issues, and offer support.
Hazelwood is a neighboring town in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - it has a reputation for gang violence and poverty. CMU's design class of 2017 created an exhibition to memorialize young lives that were lost in this divested neighborhood. This exhibition is a result of months of research, collection of artifacts and history, and interviews with current Hazelwood residents.
Exhibition Design: Hazelwood Memorial
In addition to collaborating with my classmates to conceptualize the exhibit experience, I designed the exhibit's centerpiece, Systems We See, with industrial designer Hannah Salinas.
Systems We See is an acrylic table with 3 layers of text: interview quotes from Hazelwood residents, newspaper headlines, and the preamble to the constitution.
United We Will is a wall of cards on which people write their strengths and thoughts, or offer help to fellow community members.
Spaces We Shared is a space for people to learn and/or reminisce about Hazelwood's past.
Aspirations We Hold is a space for people to read inspiring success stories from Hazelwood and write down their own personal goals to post on the above wall.
Together We Remember is a space for people to mourn the death of individuals through artifacts, photos, and video.
The objective of our research was to understand the community’s people and places to connect with the current population in a genuine way. We held interview sessions with the members of Hazelwood’s community to gain an understanding of Hazelwood through activities we designed to facilitate discussion about growing issues, the loss of loved ones and culture, and potential solutions.
Through conversation, we learned about the current state of Hazelwood's economy, youth, community, and infrastructure.
As an effort to reinstate a sense of community and optimism in the neighborhood, the exhibit became a space for people in Hazelwood to reflect on the past, acknowledge the loss, grieve together, and support each other through a new hope for the neighborhood's future.