'Shadows over Manhattan' as appeared in Ad!dict Magazine: click here

Project sketch:

Short introductory text with street name sign with shadow:


Shadows over Manhattan

New York not only lost thousands of lives and two skyscrapers on September 11. It lost the presence of those people and those buildings, that was normally felt throughout Downtown Manhattan. New York lost their shadows. You see someone coming when you notice their shadow around the corner. You know someone’s there, when you see a shadow through the door. The shadow of a friend can be comforting. In a wide semi-circle around the World Trade Center the light is different now. It doesn’t change suddenly at fixed times when the sun hides behind the two tall towers. It doesn’t light up again when the sun has passed them.

In some myths, a man loses his shadow and doesn’t die. But his is a life hardly worth living. Without a shadow, he has no real presence. Without a shadow, he is not of this earth. A shadow is proof of existence.

When something horrible happens, they say it casts a shadow over the world. Or if it was anticipated, they say that it’s shadow preceded it. Shadows can be signs of life and of death. But regardless of good or evil, a shadow means memory. 

Our proposal symbolizes the memorial value of shadows. It suggests re-casting the shadows of the Twin Towers at the times they collapsed. Carefully, or should one say lovingly, tracing the outlines over everything they touched at that moment. Or would have touched, had they been intact. The site itself will be filled again. New buildings, different people, will move their shadows over Manhattan. But these ones, like the hands of a clock that stopped when life around it stopped, will remain still. A twin shadow reminding us of good and evil.


facing page:
Site sketch with shadows calculated at times of collaps drawn in from 'ground zero':


Projection of shadows on satelite overview of site:
(with shadows corrected for actual direction and length, 'ground zero' interpreted as memorial park)


Projection of shadows in street views around the site. Contours (will be) rendered as 'chalk lines' as used to delineate bodies etc. at crime scenes:







(© Funlab, Experience and Entertainment Design Masters, Design Academy Eindhoven, 2001. Participants in this project were: Suzanne van Andel, Joris Jacobs, Kim de Regt, Roy Roth, Gregory Shapiro, Stephen Versteegh, Toon Vugts. Tutor: Max Bruinsma, editorial design)

max bruinsma