9/11 Memorial: Linking Victim Names with Work Affiliations, Friends, Family and Heroes

If you look at the graphic below, you’ll get a hint of what the Algorithmic Design project on the 9/11 Memorial encompasses. The short story is that some very determined and talented people answered the call to find a way to place the names of 9/11 victims around the base of the Memorial. The names would be linked to “adjacents,” – maybe a friend, a family member or a hero.

9/11 Memorial - Algorithmic Adjacencies

In architect Michael Arad‘s vision for the memorial, the names were to be laid according to where people were and who they were with when they died – not alphabetical, nor placed in a grid. Inscribed in bronze parapets, almost three thousand names would stream seamlessly around the memorial pools. Underneath this river of names, though, an arrangement would provide a meaningful framework; one which allows the names of family and friends to exist together. Victims would be linked through what Arad terms ‘meaningful adjacencies’ – connections that would reflect friendships, family bonds, and acts of heroism. through these connections, the memorial becomes a permanent embodiment of not only the many individual victims, but also of the relationships that were part of their lives before those tragic events…

Of course, the most challenging problem was to place the names within the panels while satisfying as many of the requested adjacencies as possible. There were more than 1200 adjacency requests that needed to be addressed. One of the first things that I did was to get an idea of how complex this network of relations was by building some radial maps:

I wouldn’t dare try to explain this story any further.  Please read it at the source:blprnt.com