Landscape of Change
A presence of change lay at the core of the Woman Suffrage movement; the memorial reveals processes of change through physical transformations as a marking of time. Challenging the neoclassical "timeless" character of the capitol mall and the traditional paradigm of memorial, this design registers three specific marks of time related to specific events and phenomena; political time, biological time, and geological time by means of physical interventions: a stainless steel woven trellis climbs up slope—marking the timeline on which each vertical post marks a year in the suffrage movement; each horizontal steel bar marks the life-line of each individual suffragist.
West of the interwoven trellis, the prairie landscape recedes perspectivally, with rough stone striations metering the field like glacial marks in the face of limestone bedrock. These striations run perpendicular to the trellis and are revealed in true orientation to the last glacier that moved across this site. Working with a local horticulturist to select the native prairie plants with an exception of yellow Daffodils, to control the color change throughout the year. Lines of Daffodils march uphill tracing the geological scratches towards the capitol for two weeks every spring.
Evidence of political time: the stainless steel woven trellis marks the beginning in 1848 when Seneca Falls convened, to the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. Every vertical rod marks a year of struggle and every horizontal rod follows the individual lifeline of each recognized suffragist who brought about such monumental change in the political landscape.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Raveevarn Choksombatchai, in collaboration with Ralph Nelson
P/A Visionary Design Progressive Architecture Award, 1998
First Prize in the National Competition, 1996
State Capitol building, St. Paul, Minnesota, a group exhibit of the competition winners. 1996
2x2, a group show, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California, Curated by Mark Petr, 01.20-03.20 2000
Portfolio: Three Memorials, Frameworks, UC Berkeley Environmental Design 08 Publication, issue 2, 2005
Art 4 d, Architecture/ Design & Arts Magazine, Bangkok, Thailand, "Power to the Women," No. 71, May 2001
Architecture, "Woman Suffrage Memorial: 1998 PA Award," November 2000
Time Magazine, "Short Takes:Design: Woman Suffrage Memorial," October 2, 2000
Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Plan for Woman Suffrage Garden Rooted in Groundbreaking History, Woman Suffrage Memorial Competition," August. 25, 1996
Saint Paul Pioneer Press, "Winning Garden Design Memorializes Suffrage," August 24, 1996
Saint Paul Pioneer Press, "Suffrage Memorial Design Team to Be Chosen," August 19, 1996