This portrait of the life and work of Harvey Milk, the slain San Francisco city supervisor, brings his extraordinary call for social justice into the paths of the commonplace. The environment is a streetcar set in his adopted city, but prototypically can be sited within any existing infrastructure to dynamically extend the boundaries of civic space and claim unspecified systems of connectivity. The proposal creates a “district-specific” vehicle whereby local histories, events, and communities are portrayed with integrated media of polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs).
The car is designed as an episodic experience, providing simultaneous information through chance encounter. An electronic digitization displays a narrative of filmic images pertaining to the life and times of the subject, while the transparent chassis exposes the shifting ground beneath. The configuration of seating transforms throughout the bays, accommodating various social settings—couples, singles, and groups—and encouraging random and incidental gatherings.
The memorial car mixes collages of commemorative images with the real-time exchange between passengers. Refracted images of data, luminous voids of surface, and reflections of the surrounding urban environment are mapped across the exterior translucent skin of the car. This ephemeral, mobile environment passes through the city to which Harvey Milk brought change.
Excellence in Unbuilt Design, AIA Best of the Bay