Jiji | Taiwan | 2009
The proposal for the Chi Chi Earthquake Memorial park explores the complex relationship between mankind and the natural landscape. This relationship is addressed physically and spatially as well as psychologically and emotionally through the design of a park and memorial that reveals the danger inherent in the arrogant assumption that mankind possesses a complete understanding of the natural world and that this knowledge provides the ability to control nature.
The tragic events of September 21, 1999 remind us, as do all natural disasters, that our relationship with the natural world involves the continual and often unpredictable exchange of control between nature and man. At times humanity is able to exert control over the landscape, harnessing nature to achieve the goals and aspirations of culture. However, man’s dominance over the natural world is periodically relinquished, and we become subject to the seemingly random forces of nature. The Chi Chi quake represents one tragic instance of this forfeiture of control.