On May 30th, 2023, the 1882 Foundation and friends gathered with the National Building Museum for a conversation with interdisciplinary designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu of Neri&Hu, historical preservationist Michelle Magalong, PhD, and landscape architect Jenn Low. A part of the NBM’s Spotlight on Design series, the lecture and panel discussion explored the relationship(s) between public memory, architecture, and poetic place-making in times of unprecedented cultural destruction and reform.

Neri and Hu began with a lecture entitled ‘between them’, exploring their design approach in the context of their own diasporic, multi-contextual cultural backgrounds and a quickly changing urban landscape in China. They explored six projects across genres and places in China that presented unique challenges in terms of cultural preservation needs and approaches.

Michelle Magalong, PhD followed the lecture with a presentation on the representation of Asian Americans in historic preservation and the work underway to include AAPI stories in national narratives through placemaking and preservation. She highlighted in particular the Chinese American and Korean American historic context study currently underway in Washington DC, led by the 1882 Foundation and DC Preservation League.

Lastly, Lyndon, Rossana, and Michelle were joined by 1882 Foundation associate and landscape architect Jenn Low to discuss the overarching ties between their work and the ongoing importance of preservation work. A video of the entire presentation is available below.

Special thanks to Lyndon Neri, Rossana Hu, Michelle Magalong, Jenn Low, Diane Rhyu Taylor, and Jacquelyn Sawyer. Additional thanks to audiovisual and custodial support staff at the National Building Museum.