Revisible Heritage


Lalita Bellach

Silent Silhouettes reveals the hidden history of Beacon hill to show people the struggles and historical moments that had happened in history. There are black metal silhouettes guiding you to each site on the sidewalk, and on the walls, wanting you to discover the truth of the path. Inspired by Kara Walker, a contemporary black artist who works with many paper silhouettes, the installation tells the stories for each site so that more people can see the past.

Kara Walker has created many different silhouette pieces over the years and earned quite a few awards as well. One of her pieces "Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred b'tween the Dusky Thighs of one Yough Negress and Her Heart" (1994), showcases violent interactions where the silhouettes are cut from black paper and are put directly on the wall. Her work resonates with the historical context of the Black Heritage Trail, with an emphasis on the stories of the Black communities that once lived there.

Silent Silhouettes is divided into 3 different scales, The Urban Scale, The Building Scale, and the User Scale, each scale dives deeper and deeper into the experience that the user will have whilst interacting with the installation. On the urban scale, there is an overview of a straight-forward path with each site side by side representing that the path can be accessed and seen more often. There are also silhouettes going through the path and between the sites as a method of wayfinding for passerby's, further enhancing a sense of curiosity and appeal as you move site by site. For the Building scale, the Harriet and Haden house is in the spotlight and there are personalized figures and silhouettes around the site telling the story behind it. For example, for this site, there will be a story about the underground railroad and the slaves who had escaped. The silhouettes peel off of the historical site and go onto the sidewalk to present a more interactive experience for the user. Lastly, the user scale holds an example of the user interacting with the peeling silhouettes, going around the people of the past as if they were also there.

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Lalita Bellach

Project Board

Nadine Zaza

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Nadine Zaza


The Roots of Races

Trevor McDonald

Final Presentation + Brief

Isa Murray

The project emphasizes the history of the black heritage trail in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood through interactive facade installations that protrude out of the front of the Museum of African American History illustrating the major events that occurred on the trail. The facades draw attention to the historical layerings within each facade of the site  and help visitors engage in the visualization of the history.

The project is inspired by a painting done by Charles Gaines, Matilda #4. Charles Gaines, a renowned contemporary artist of the darker complexion, resides in Los Angeles. Charles Gaines is famous for his use of mosaic layers in his artwork to emphasize certain areas of a photograph or painting. In Matilda #4 Charles Gaines overlays several mosaics in vibrant colors over a photograph of a tree made out of brown tiles. He also believes that using mosaics and grids brings the ego out of art, similar to the project bringing the ego out of beacon hill and revealing the black heritage trail's history.

To build this, three or four stainless steel facades are designed with a staircase allowing people to interact with one of the facades. The facades, which are implanted in the sidewalk, are colored with the colors that Charles Gaines uses in his mosaics, green, blue, red, and possibly yellow. The facades also have perforations where the doors and windows are placed on the side of the museum. The steel facades will have shapes cut out of them portraying the history of the BHT. The first facade illustrates the George Middleton house on the anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade where white people mobbed the celebrators and George Middleton came out of his house and threatened the mob with a loaded musket. The second facade visualizes a day in the Abiel Smith School with a silhouette of a classroom filled with people. Finally, the third facade is a cutout of the title of The Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper that singled out and patronized racist people.

Presentation Slides + Brief

Nadine Zaza



Nadine Zaza


Zoe White

Urban Soundsuits: A sort of tent for the houses along the Black heritage Trail that is simular to a termite tent. It has bright fur, drawings, wind instruments, and other objects covering it to create a bright and loud amalgamation of sound and color. 

The Black Heritage Trail is underrepresented, and this project aims to change that. The Freedom Trail overshadows the Black Heritage Trail. This project will help bring more people to the trail to discover the history of Boston through other eyes. The purpose of the tent is a symbolic way of talking about how the history has been covered up and forgotten. These houses have so much importance to the black community in Boston but they are not celebrated. The artist focus was Nick Cave, so each takes takes inspiration from a different one of his Soundsuits, making each house unique but connected to the same source. They also take inspiration from Cave's unique work outside of the Soundsuits, that are more like sculptures instead of wearable objects.