2021 | Professional

MUSE Design Awards Gold Winner

Missing Voices

Entrant Company

Studio Joseph


Architectural Design - Symbolic Structures (NEW)

Client's Name

Princeton University

Country / Region

United States

A public marker’s concrete presence is imbued with symbolic value based on its position and cultural context. Princeton University asked that “Wilson Marker” be a place to tell the story of Woodrow Wilson’s legacy at Scudder Plaza, adjacent to the Wilson School. In response, we proposed “Missing Voices,” which metaphorically addresses Wilson’s racism and misogyny. Its intentional incompleteness leaves room for interpretation and discussion. On an urbanistic level, the project enhances the day to day experience of a foreboding plaza.

“Missing Voices” is an urban intervention that supports all members of the community without barriers to entry. Three equally important and interrelated parts work together to interpret the legacy of President Wilson.

Voices: Surging forth from the Wilson School entrance, bronze plaques embedded in the granite paving demonstrate the power of incremental over monumental, disruptive, and activating. Bronze, the ubiquitous, quintessential material of commemoration, punctuates the existing gray stone. Without words, they represent the past voices that Wilson ignored and carry implicit messages that change over time.

Conversation: Oversized benches encourage the exchange of ideas, acting as an informal outdoor classroom for small groups or catalysts for directed learning. Wood slat construction integrates bronze markers. They link the incremental over monumental architecturally as part of community placemaking for both “town and gown”.

Canvas: A media display runs the length of the site. This data-driven presentation can be seen both day and night. Words emanate from behind translucent concrete; an innovative material is authentic in its presence and holds the unique property of allowing light to pass through the use of embedded fiber. When active, words appear in a strikingly elegant and robust way.

Canvas is a digital format for data, performance imagery, and other means of free expression. Programmed without barrier, “Missing Voices” retaliates by giving public expression to everyone.


Principal In Charge, Studio Joseph
Wendy Evans Joseph
Director of Design, Studio Joseph
Monica Coghlan
Designer, Studio Joseph
Hannah Pavlovich
Principal In Charge, Bluecadet
Josh Goldblum
Partner, Bluecadet
Brad Baer
Designer, Bluecadet
Devon Burgoyne
Landscape Architecture Firm - Ken Smith Workshop
Partner In Charge, Silman
Nate Oppenheimer
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