What design elements will activate the downtown of Columbus, Indiana to highlight the diverse makeup of the city’s population?
In September 2018, LA-Más was selected as one of five Washington Street Civic Project Leaders– an honor given to mission-driven organizations that use architecture, art and design to improve people’s lives, connect communities, and catalyze efforts to make cities more equitable and sustainable. All leaders will activate a site on Washington Street from late August to to early December 2019 in downtown Columbus as part of the Exhibit Columbus 2019 Exhibition. Columbus, Indiana is the modernist mecca of our nation with an impressive track record for civic engagement.
"Thank U, Next" will be an informal meeting space for the city at 6th/Washington. This project thanks civic leaders and past architects for their highly formal contributions to Washington Street, but also looks to create the next precedent for an alternative. As this area is often viewed as a hub for the middle class and wealthy, the project is an explicit and implicit invitation to working class residents to redefine Washington Street.
The proposed urban plaza is flexible, reconfigurable, playful, multiple and open. It features a moveable table that adapts to diverse programming to support all of the city’s residents. The project will also host a calendar of programming hosted by Columbus community organizations that will bring Washington Street to life with a bold spirit of inclusivity.