[d] Tucson Memorial

Tucson Memorial


The project deploys panelization techniques at various scales and investigates their effects on the broader architectural readings of the objects. 



Internship work for Rebeca Mendez Studio


design, modeling, storytelling


Rhinoceros, Photoshop, Illustrator


Commisioning Agency: 

January 8 Memorial Foundation, Tucson, AZ


Chee/Salette Architects, Los Angeles, CA

Public Art: 

Rebeca Méndez Studio, Los Angeles, CA


Rebeca Méndez, Rebeca Méndez Studio, Los Angeles, CA


Adam Eeuwens, Rebeca Méndez Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Assistant Designer: 

Mika Tohmon, Tokyo, Japan

Design and Production Interns: 

Bijun Liang, Haysol Chung, 

Veronica Peitong Chen, Tiffany Taimoorazy

PC: Rebeca Mendez Studio.

Memorial Composition PC: Landscape Architect: 

Tina Chee, Chee/Salette, Los Angeles, CA


“The Embrace”, a master plan for the Tucson January 8 Memorial and El Presidio Park created by Rebeca Mendez Studio in conjunction with the Chee Salette Architecture Office. The memorial marks the January 8, 2011 event in Tucson when a young man fired 33 bullets at a crowd during U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords “Congress On Your Corner “ event. Six people died and 13 were wounded. Giffords survived but was unable to continue in her elected office.

As a part of the design team, I helped develop the three-dimensional geometry of the iconography-based identity, the grid gradation and the overall memorial form. 

The Embrace Iconography

Visual Language Development

        The iconography of the Tucson Memorial were based on the petroglyphs left by the Hohokam Native American tribe on the Sonoran Desert. This ancient form of story-telling is what will carry on in remembrance of January 8. Beginning with research, our team studied the history and local environment pertinent to Tucson.

        Each piece of information is translated into an icon, which is finalized after an iterative process of icon

drafting and vectorizing. The icons are then laid out on the Memorial Wall.

        Research was compiled by Bijun and Adam to learn about the overview of the 2011 Tucson Shooting event. Important quotes and descriptors about lives of the victims and survivors were also compiled from President Obama’s address of the event, existing interviews, documentaries, and news articles.

        It was important to recognize the history, culture, flora, and fauna of the local area. Classic symbols of each time period in Tucson history were compiled, following the course from First Nations, Spanish rule, and Mexican rule, running down to the 18th, 19th, and late 20th century.

Icon Drafts

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Grid Gradience

Iterations of grids with gradiating dots were made to test for smooth transition;

each varied in dot size, dot amount, and spacing.


Final Layout and Implementation

Rebeca Mendez created elevations for the icons, determining the placement of the symbols. I was in charge of implementing the symbols pertaining to each person into the space of overall memorial structure as well as the three-dimentionalization of the icon and the memorial.

The icons are laid out on the wall in the same manner as the geological strata of rock. Icons representing the history are placed at the bottom (past), the survivors and victims at eye-level (present), and symbols of Tucson on the top (future).


Punched Icons


The holes punched through the wall represent the bullet shots that pierced through the community. These voids are filled by the symbols and values representing the victims that passed away in the Tucson event.



Survivors and victims that shared a bond or relationship were placed closer to one another. Spouses, like Mavenell and Dorwan Stoddard, are placed next to each other.


The Weeping Wall

At certain times, water will run down the Memorial wall. It is a cleansing and weeping force that mourns with the community.