Isidor Studio collaborated on this project as part of a larger team of designers while working at Sasaki. Our womxn of color-led design team, alongside a broader group of local community members, artists, and city representatives, have all come together to advance an initiative that has been advocated for by the Roxbury community for over a decade.
Funded through the Edward Browne Fund, our womxn-of-color-led landscape design team joined the project in 2019 to develop a design for the new memorial plaza at the intersection of Tremont and Hammond Streets in Roxbury, MA. Here, Douglass is said to have spoken to open-air meetings about the plight of enslaved people and the call for abolition.
The design of the memorial landscape seeks to embrace aesthetics informed by local creative initiatives as well as larger African American narratives. For our design team, this project is a way to take the spirit of Afrofuturism and manifest it in physical space. Upon completion, the memorial seeks to claim space where the local community can feel a sense of ownership and celebrate how the past will shape a prosperous future.
Our design process involved community engagement through performance, writing, and discussion. This process sought to address perspectives on comfort and accessibility within the public realm to create a space that’s welcoming to all but acts as a safe space for Boston’s Black community. The engagement session included a moving spoken word performance by Destiny Polk, a local artist and founder of Radical Black Girl.