Every semester, Storefront's community design apprentices at mOb respond to a prompt from faculty and a guest critic. These weeklong investigations, called mObjObs, are intensive, speculative, and often provocative design exercises. This year, mOb invited guest critic Burt Pinnock — a Storefront co-founder, Baskervill principal, and architect. Students adopted a fictitious design competition format as an entry point into the national debate about what to do with confederate heritage. Proposals for the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue included:
Turn it upside down.
Replace it with Maggie Walker.
Cover it with kudzu.
Envelop it with smoke.
Auction it off.
Pepper it with #blacklivesmatter signs.
Put a tutu on it.
Or just leave it.
During First Friday November, mObjOb 6 concluded with Richmond's very first public forum to unpack contemporary views on confederate heritage. A panel discussion titled, "General Demotion? General Devotion?" was moderated by the Valentine's Bill Martin, and guests included architectural historian Calder Loth, Richmond Times Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams, and VCU Art Education professor Dr. Melanie Buffington.
Proposals are on view for the month of November at our studio space at 205 East Broad Street. Stream or download the discussion below.