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Frances Rawlings Quintero and Ziyan Hossain

This is a presentation about the systemic analysis involved in developing the innovative and evocative immersive public art installation Space for Grief, which aims to destigmatize expressions of grief. With each installation, the team aims to create communal spaces for gathering to better understand grief—its causes, manifestations, and purpose within our lives, including cultural rituals around the experience. Their core mission? To ignite meaningful conversations in public space, foster empathy for each other and ourselves, and strengthen the support networks within our families, workplaces, and communities. Space for Grief serves as a poignant reminder of life’s inevitable transitions and losses, along with the importance of community healing through these times. Conceptualized and brought to life by Toronto-based studio Method Collective, the initiative is rooted in ethnographic research as well as learnings from the consultancy’s work across cities and with governments and community-based organizations. Visitors are invited to explore a variety of landscapes where remnants of industrial machinery contrast the softness of organic plant material along a journey where architectural features and prompts act as subtle guides for moving from one space and emotion to another. Original soundscapes were composed specifically for the installation by Ziyan Hossain and Rakat Zami, and an updated version of the soundscape also features collaborations with Toronto musicians Kurt Swinghammer and Kevin Lacroix. Space for Grief is sponsored by Mount Pleasant Group with additional financial support provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, OCAD University’s Super Ordinary Lab, Evergreen Brick Works and private donors. The installation is presented in partnership with Dixon Hall, Scarborough Arts, CP Planning and the Toronto Shelter Network. The experimental public art experience has been shown at the Toronto Reference Library, Evergreen Brick Works (Toronto), and more.

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Citation Data

Author(s): Frances Rawlings Quintero and Ziyan Hossain
Year: 2023
Title: Space for Grief
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: ONLINE
Symposium Dates: February 26–May 6, 2024
First published: 30 December 2023
Last update: February 01, 2024
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404