design research





Location: Copley Square, Boston


As it stands today, Copley Square is successful as a patch, a shared foreground for it's neighboring structures.  Home to at least three architectural masterpieces (and haunted by many more) this is no small task. But what the square looses in this exchange is it's own voice.


This proposal, Tracing the Square,  catalogues the previous incarnations of the square's shifting edges with a series of light poles that momentarily align, dissipate, and align again to encourage activity and movement through the center space.  Faint false horizons are highlighted through subtly forced perspectives and direct views to the square's center before multiplying and refracting them back to it's edges.  The major axis, that of the former Huntington Ave cut-through, pierces the island of grass to suggest edges for growth of informal occupation or as an alternate spine for the successful farmer’s markets currently relegated to street edges.


Paired with clusters of mobile, solar-lit seats, this lighting scheme acts in parallel to this most iconic moment in the city's formal structure, as the indexed choreography of movement through light.


base photo of square, credit: RIch Moffitt

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