Stuckeman School to host designers behind powerful 'Society's Cage' installation

January 29, 2021

UNIVERSTY PARK, Pa. — Dayton Schroeter and Julian Arrington of SmithGroup will join the Stuckeman School at 6 p.m. on Feb. 3 for a virtual conversation on “Society’s Cage,” the installation they designed in the aftermath of the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor killings “as our society reckons with institutional racism and white supremacy.”

Designed in partnership with the Architects Foundation, Society’s Cage was first installed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., last August. The public installation features a bold interpretive pavilion sculpted to symbolize the historic forces of racialized state violence. The experience educates visitors and functions as a sanctuary to reflect, record and share personal thoughts. It is conceived in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as a mechanism for building empathy and healing.

Society's Cage on the left with the Washington Monument in the background at right.

"Society’s Cage" was first installed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in August 2020, and features a bold interpretive pavilion sculpted to symbolize the historic forces of racialized state violence, according to its creators.

IMAGE: SmithGroup

Schroeter is a design principal who has championed Design Justice advocacy throughout his career at SmithGroup. As a leader of the firm’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, his charge is to lead design projects that address the systemic injustice that architecture and planning have perpetuated for historically disenfranchised communities of color. Leveraging his passion for design justice with authenticity and creativity, he is currently leading anti-racism efforts in design projects including the National Slavery Museum located at the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site / Devil’s Half Acre and the Society’s Cage installation. Schroeter is the co-author of a research grant called “Hidden Voices” for the development of a rubric for architects and planners doing community engagement around Black historical sites of trauma and resilience in the United States.

Arrington is a lead designer in SmithGroup’s DC Cultural Studio. A graduate of Howard University, Arrington has shaped concepts for multiple museum projects including a museum to address the history of slavery in Richmond, Virginia, the Universal Hip Hop Museum, the Museum of Pop Culture and others. A proponent of community-informed design, Arrington has helped to lead stakeholder-engagement efforts to craft designs that reflect the goals and aspirations of the people they serve.

The talk is second installment of the Stuckeman School’s Spring Virtual Lecture Series and is being offered in partnership with WPSU, the Department of Landscape Architecture and the College of Arts and Architecture. The virtual event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required via https://bit.ly/societyscage.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 01, 2021