While much has been made of the relation between Mr. Arad's minimalist design and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Maya Lin - who was one of the jurors - Mr. Arad said yesterday that he had begun thinking about a trade center memorial long before the competition began, long before he knew that Ms. Lin would be one of the jurors.
That said, he also acknowledged his appreciation of her design, which has influenced a generation of designers. "I've been very moved by it," said Mr. Arad, an architect with the New York City Housing Authority.
For his part, Mr. Walker said that while he had been generally aware of the finalists - having unsuccessfully entered the competition himself - he did not know at first which submission had come from Mr. Arad. But once he put Mr. Arad's name together with the Reflecting Absence plan, he said yes. "This probably was the only scheme that I could have worked with wholeheartedly," Mr. Walker said. "It was very much in the area of my interest."
About his own submission to the competition, Mr. Walker said: "We followed the rules and I think that was a mistake, in retrospect. There were a number of things in the rules that made it difficult to have something singular. I think Michael's scheme was so much more direct, so much more essential."