Parc de Lafayette

Studio Mayd PLLC, 2020

  This project first recognizes that protest is a fundamentally transgressive, visible spatial act. Since D.C. has been the nation's capitol, protesters have gathered in public space and, in doing so, established well-trodden spaces of demonstration in the city - imbuing these sites with history and meaning. Lafayette Park - one of such spaces - offers a civic, public counterpart to the stoic facade of the White House, but it has been fenced off for much of 2020, spatially severing the voice and agency of the American people from those who govern them. When the park reopens, the public space should be reclaimed and reestablished as a space for the people and fundamental diversity of their voices and views. 

  Overlaying the formal landscape with an animated matric of follies, podia, platforms, and other placemaking installations, Lafayette Park becomes a site of simultaneous activity and engagement. The park becomes a theatre of the people - elevating protesters, performers, and participants in juxtaposition with the static statues doting the park. The interventions vary in scape and function from a large multi-platform stage and a sinewy wall for posters and signage, to intimate benches and placemaking ground conditions. The scalar spectrum of interventions attempts to celebrate all degrees of engagement and civic participation as protest. 

By offering distinct opportunities and celebrated spaces, the Park de Lafayette intervention imagines an enlivened, participatory civic landscape where engagement and protest can scale from the quotidian to the revolutionary. 

Text & Image Collaboration with Lindsey May & Portia Strahan