The students build contemporary Desire Houses that could be displayed within an Installation. In light of the foreclosure crisis happening in the Washington D.C. area and across the nation, Eisenbach devised the project as an inquiry into the nature of home, dwelling and inhabitation across cultures, and a response to the trauma of losing one’s home.
The exhibit, entitled Memory House/Desire House, was installed at the Clarice Smith Center the week before the February performance. Once the dance and architecture students had reassembled the installation, the College Park Arts Scholars hung their Desire Houses from the fall semester in the structure.
In their performance, the dancers carried several Desire Houses from the exhibit and ceremonially burned one they had selected in the courtyard. They did this to honor and follow the Chinese tradition of offering a Desire House as a gesture of thankfulness and good fortune to one’s ancestors.