Let’s really look at Columbus for design inspiration
As I sat home and enjoyed the wonderful Columbus weekend, I thought a lot about what I love about this city. I love our snow. I really love how we have four seasons with different foliage, differing temperatures, and a diverse body of sky colors. I love the ideas that emanate from my university. Go Buckeyes. I love German Village…wow…what a neighborhood! I adore our Statehouse. Simply remarkable. What a stoic, reserved and reluctantly remarkable model for our state’s architecture. And….maybe above all, I love the confluence of the rivers and the limestone quarries. We are so blessed to have water, rocks, and rich soils. I love how Columbus is perceived as “in the middle of nowhere” by the ignorant and uninformed, while the city is actually at the confluence of two major rivers which connect the lower flood plains of northwest Ohio and allow waters to “drain” on their southerly journey to the Ohio River. See my favorite image of Ohio to the left. It is a topographical map from the Ohio Geological website. You will see Columbus at that confluence and begin to understand just how important our location in when viewed in context to the state’s topography. Most folks can only read large bodies of water and highways on maps. Everything in the middle is undifferentiated. Inside of the coasts, it’s all Kansas, so to speak. Well, we are far from Kansas in Columbus. And, our bustling capital city is strategically located at where the Prairie commences. Drive an hour southeast and you embed in a national forest hugging the Ohio River at the start of the Appalachian plateau. Journey one hour northwest and you will begin to sense the free fall to Lake Erie. Not many states offer such rich diversity. Or walk about a half mile west of my house, and you will find this remarkable quarry (see image below). This image captures the amazing richness of our natural resources. Like I said, I love Columbus limestone (it is amazingly warm, rich and evocative of the earth).
So, as 2012 ramps up….I commit to this being the year of focus and investigation of what is uniquely Columbus. What is it that embodies our DNA and how can we best express this in our design? We will look to explore the nature of Columbus as we journey through our year. Help me find it.