The star in the sky of 2020: Lexmi Rethy

A fact that we will understand if we carefully examine the basis of intellectual development from amoeba to Einstein

Basically, all living things, from single-celled to double-celled, had three abilities
1,Food .

2, Excellence in recognizing the enemy. 

The third  ability is for more mobile creatures, It is the ability to create shelter.
From the weaver bird (Narayana kili),Beaver, which makes a nest of fibers, to the beaver, which makes bridges with stems, when it reaches a human being, it excels in architecture.
This era was around 25000 years ago . It was followed by the Neolithic age, about 10000 years ago after the Palaeolithic. During this period, humans started using grass and wood to make their shelter in the form of a  hut. The first humans originated in Africa’s Great Rift Valley. That’s why we believe that the first  man made huts built in  Some part of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.Before they lived in caves The first time man combined his architecture and imagination was when he built a house to please his mate.

Many of the great wonders of the world are man-made, the best example of which is the Taj Mahal built for his beloved.

The reason I am telling these stories here is to introduce such an expatriate student to the world-renowned  youth icon architect who designed the monument to George Floyd. His name is Amal Faizal,Architecture  student ,B Arch 4 th year.  It is a 5 year course.  

 BEARYS ENVIRO- ARCHITECTURE DESIGN SCHOOL,  MANGALURU .He finished his school studies im Yara International school in Riyadh  .  It is a matter of pride for any Malayalee in the world that a Malayalee student was selected through a competition to build a memorial  in America to George Floyd, who died of suffocation at the hands of American police.

This was the theme of the competition  given by George Floyd  memorial- foundation named  Archi-Hacks:

''Racial tensions have reached its recent peak following George death. Even though such injustices and biases have plagued our societies, the recent events have brought systemic racism to the eyes of public scrutiny yet again.Sadly, however, history repeats itself. Individuals have limited ability to transmit precautionary tales, and have limited ability to empathize across long stretches of time.Architecture, on the other hand, has the ability to inscribe important values into the hearts of urban fabric to be studied for millennia. Can we design a memorial that can commemorate all those who have fallen to similar injustices George Floyd experienced? Can architecture communicate such spatial empathy?

 We would be happy to be asked about the reason for taking such a title because of the intense reaction to such inequality that takes place in society through his creativity and narrative. We can dream of equality in this world in the hands of the youth to come  

Winning proposal title is 'EQUALITY ISN'T A BREATHE AWAY ''   and Amal gave a description for his creativity. 

'The fundamental idea of this George Floyd Memorial is to express the stain of racism in history. Historically, architecture has been a medium of projecting symbols of oppression and wealth. From the Egyptian pyramids to modern skyscrapers, architecture possesses a role of signifying possession of wealth and hence, becomes symbols of oppression. Therefore this design for George Floyd Memorial yearns to educate guests on the systematic racism of modern society and searches its root back in history.

The Memorial is an amalgamation of 3 phases. The first being, The Fall, where guests demote to a tunnel, barely lit, signifies the moment of fall in social and cultural history. In the second phase, The Fight, guests interact with the dark spaces and exhibits, a space for social dialogue, to spectate and learn about the human history of racism. This tunnel is 46 metres long(step-step), to pay homage to every year George lived. The walk through darkness symbolizes a rhetorical transcending into the history of racial oppression and thus that of oppressed humankind. Both the oppressor and the oppressed are imprisoned by two faces of the same oppression.

But, as the world is changing to a more socially connected realm, architecture is too. There is a shimmer of hope still alive in humanity, in the ones who fight for justice and equality relentlessly. That leads the guests to the third phase, The Rise, where they walk to an 8m 46cm high monolith, which signifies the duration of George being choked. The monolith also shows the spiritually bonding power of architecture by propagating a glorious ray of hope for all the ones who lost it. With a pressure sensitive step pad, which if hovered, emits rays of light, reminding us that it takes every individual's participation to bring the change we deserve. We can dream, can't we? 

I tried to look at this project beyond it's Architectural identity- that is, being just another building. We didn't want George Floyd to be just another Victim. And May 25th is just another day. Hence, my design had to move people, empathetically and morally. It's not just another memorial. Not just another martyr. Therefore, the Equality we all talk about, isn't just a breath away. It's only acquired by collective participation and effort.''
If you ask Amal about his future plans, His answer is''Usually no Architecture student rushes in to a Master's. There's a very wide spectrum of topics therefore my first move after Bachelors, would be to work under firms that share similar ideologies as mine. This is the most ideal way to learn, relearn and unlearn many things. And from here, I pick up my interests and experiences,  and then proceed for a Master's in a desired field. International Master's is always the aim because I have this crazy aspiration to work under masters like Peter Zumthor, John Pawson, Valerio Olgiati or Bijoy Jain.

Here's the Jury Comment:
Overall the thoughtful and respectful approach of the entry made it the winner. Viewing architecture as the antagonist to equity suggested an interesting shift in paradigm. The design conveys its concept passively through subtle architectural elements such as change in elevation, light and material.

The collages successfully convey the idea and space of the Memorial – a journey about systematic racism. Representing the journey into three parts – The fall, fight and rise – helped make the concept very clear and easy to understand. The three parts are also perfectly integrated with each other as a comprehensive work of art.    

Amal's mother is a teacher and a well - known writer Bee na ,International Indian School, Riyadh. His Dad is a teacher too.

M.Faizal: Yara International School, Riyadh

I’m a participant of George  Floyd's protest in Chicago, I feel sad and angry at the racism. The equality that Martin Luther King and Rosa Park fought for  the equality of the American blacks, their effort  was destroyed by the racists. To the American people George floyd is not only a tragic assassination but also a symbol of equality. Amal has made that feel of equality .Amal you’re right equality is not a breathe away ,that is too close  to our heart with Rethy Devi www.rethydevi.com