Appalachia rising from the ruins: a design addressing cultural change in post-industrial appalachia
Ruins are expressions of tie. Their slow, almost indiscernible changes are much like our own aging and reminders of our own mortality. Ruins are not easily definable. They can be attached to personal recollection or collective memory. Growing up among the ruins of an Appalachian Ohio River town, an aesthetic of decay emanates from abandoned storefronts, factories, and civic buildings, while instilling an understanding of temporality, decline, and an acceptance of finality. But Appalachia preserves its past in order to prolong its memory’s decay. Appalachian culture embraces ruins as signifiers that solidify collective memory and arouse contemplative nostalgia. Ruins are preserved in order to memorialize the past, with the intention these spaces will become integrated in Appalachia’s new postindustrial culture.