The Juice is a 1995 architectural design competition sponsored by The End in Los Angeles. It invited architects, artists, lawyers, students, professors and other interested people to design a memorial for victims of violence. Centered around the theme of a particular criminal/judicial event which far overshadows the humanity of remembering the victims of violence, The Juice is an ideas competition (the sponsors can not actually build a memorial on this site) which attempted to strengthen the heart of the city of Los Angeles by paying more attention to victims and less to criminals. Given simply the space of the parking lot which is adjacent to the LA Criminal Courts Building, submissions were called for to design a memorial and gardens which could become a focal point in the downtown Civic Center complex of city, state, and federal buildings and the pedestrian mall which connects them.


Our collaborative team for The Juice consisted of Shari Rothfarb, an artist and graduate student in film at Columbia University's School of the Arts, her brother Robert Rothfarb, a multimedia designer and graduate student in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and Erik Linton, an architectural draftsman and set-designer. Ashley Mendoza, also a graduate film student at Columbia, contributed a poem for our design which is featured in the video art created specifically for the site.

Our entry included the following: a scale model of our design, plan and elevation drawings, 3D computer graphic renderings of the site and of characterstic views within, 3D computer animations visualizing the site and people interacting with the memorial, site-specific video art, and a statement.


Our goal for The Juice is to break the silence of victims of violence. We wish to acknowledge, address, and empower these victims - women, men, and children who embody a multiplicity of social, racial, economic, and cultural strata. We do not however wish to universalize or essentialize victimhood. By specifically encouraging an individual and personal response, The Juice's overarching aim is to create a space which voices the words and images of and by victims of violence, for victims of violence. It is a living memorial, designed to create a sense of community for people whose lives are touched at differing levels by these issues, and to remember those who lost their lives to violence.

The gardens and the memorial of The Juice are intended to visually and conceptually work against the continual silencing of victims of violence by the media, society, and the law.

Too often the spectacle surrounding violent crime eclipses the identities of victims. The Juice wishes to provide a venue for these people and their stories.


The site of The Juice consists of three levels. The main level is the contoured field of the former parking lot adjacent to the Criminal Courts Building which contains a 17 by 24 grid of 8' X 8' translucent plexiglass panels. These panels are shatterproof and are covered by Smart Skin -- a future technology material based on microcircuitry and fibre optics which permits images and full-motion video to be displayed. These Smart Skin display panels automatically adjust brightness and contrast levels according to ambient light conditions, thus permitting viewing both during the day and at night.

As people walk through the gardens of The Juice, their bodies physically activate images on the panels to which they are closest. Therefore, the amount of active video being played on the panels is directly contingent upon the proximity of viewers to the panels and upon the number of people walking through the site. The panels which are not activated by visitors remain clear. As people walk through the gardens, the images trail around and after them.

Displayed on the panels are video feeds which come from three sources. The first feed is from a collection of video work by artists and the public created specifically for the memorial site. The second feed is from visitors to the site who can add text and images in a testimony room located on the premises.

The third feed is fed by computers at the site which are World Wide Web stations linked to the Internet which allow people all over the world to contribute text, images, and video to the site via their own computers. These last two feeds allow the memorial to exist dynamically, changing as people interact with it both in person and via telecommunications. The memorial can thus exist virtually in a global context although it is physically situated in Los Angeles. Its design reflects the architecture, environment, and people of Los Angeles while the memorial itself projects the ideas and emotions of the people affected by violence in the global village.

The second level of the site consists of a modified-ziggurat structure which is approximately 76' X 106'. Attached to the top of this structure is an elevated walkway-pier which extends roughly 315' into the panel field. The interior of this structure contains the memorial testimony room. In this space, using personal computers, visitors can express their thoughts and feelings with words and images which feed into the panels outdoors. The computers which contain the database of visual and textual tesimony of previous visitors to the memorial, linked to the Internet for people all over the world to submit testimony, are also housed within this structure.

The third level is an underground parking garage which lies directly underneath the panel field and which is linked to the parking garage of the Criminal Courts Building. Two ramps for cars run into the site, while two stairways lead up from this lower level and emerge onto the panel field.

The site is designed to be visually and logistically linked to the pedestrian mall of the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center.

Additionally, the loggia of the adjacent Criminal Courts Building provides a panoramic view of the memorial site.

Click here to view an animation of The Juice design (encoded for 56K.)
You should have the latest Real Player installed.

For more information, contact:
Shari Rothfarb or Robert Rothfarb,

©1995 - 2001 S. Rothfarb, R. Rothfarb, and E. Linton