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Do you remember a peaceful place from your childhood? What about an event that, to this day, has come to define you or the space you live in? As individuals and as communities, memory is a vast collection of histories and experiences from which we extract our identity. From the platform of memory, we can challenge ourselves and grow; to listen, reflect, and learn. From it, we can carry forward our stories and those that came before ours. 


Remembering What is to Come brings together two theses by graduate students Haneen Dalla-Ali and Daniel Abad, that explore how lessons from the past can directly shape the possibilities of our future. In architecture and art, memory manifests itself through a sense of belonging. Work that emanates from memory is anchored in experience and place, rather than in the nuances of aesthetics and form. The pieces presented are vessels for the gathering of memory, and as such become active participants in the transformation of memory into storytelling and into action.

The works presented in the two theses find their origin through the continuation of a story, defining a path forward through the acknowledgment of paths already traveled. Memory thus becomes unbound to the past, it is a medium through which we move, think, and act in search of meaning. This memory exists in simultaneity, where the past, the present, and the future are seamed to answer the question of what we had, what we have, and what we long for.

photographs by Scott Lee  (Idea Exchange) 


* These theses were completed at the University of Waterloo, School of Architecture 

Haneen's thesis title: Tracings | Unraveling Home in the Diaspora
supervisor: Rick Andrighetti

Daniel's thesis title: Six Empty Shells: Contextualizing the Aspirations of Mexican Modernity Through the Tlatelolco Housing Complex

supervisor: Adrian Blackwell


Both theses can be found on

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